The actress, Pauley Perette plays Abbey Scuito, a forensic scientist on NCIS. Recently she spoke about being through many seasons in her life – some good and some bad. There was a season when she just didn’t know how or what to pray for. So she decided that every morning and all throughout her day she would say this simple thought:
“God, thank you for everything and forgive me for everything”.
Wow! Everything? She didn’t really mean that, did she? Thank God not just for the good stuff but for the bad stuff too?
It started me thinking- could I thank God for everything – I mean everything? Could I thank God for the cancer, heart disease, chronic breast cellulites, and the multitude of cysts, fibroids, tumors and hemorrhaging that eventually led me to a hysterectomy?
My problems pale when compared with the evil that happens in this world – how could I possibly thank you for them? Isis, child abuse, human trafficking spring to mind. How could I thank God for the evils of this world so horrific that my mind cannot fathom the person(s) capable of such inhumanity? Can I even wrap my earthly head around that thought?
While I know that there is much I cannot change, I do know that in being witness to evil of this world I have been moved to effect a change, to make a difference in some small way, to right a wrong, to help not hinder and to sooth and not fester a situation. And while these small acts of kindness may not always seem enough they often move me to reach out in prayer for God’s intercession, solace, shelter and security. And it is in these moments when I wrestle with the suffering of this world, I realize that I reach for the one who created this world. God had such a different plan for us than where we are today. We, in our choices, our attitudes, our indifference, our prejudice, and selfishness have created a world He never imagined. It’s a wonder he has not abandoned us. And yet, in the midst of pain, tragedy, and suffering, He is there. I thought back to all those mudslides, avalanches, and dams in my life. Exhausting. But it has also been a remarkable journey that strengthened my faith, taught me how to navigate the healthcare system, led me to fulfill my childhood dream of writing and has allowed me to be an advocate to those experiencing medical mayhem.
Like Pauley Perette, it was in those moments of pain when I felt God’s presence the most. In those dark sleepless nights worrying, crying, fearfully wondering if I had a future; I would turn to Him and I found respite, courage, and peace. I crawled into his loving arms and let His words wash over me and comfort me.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I know that while I cannot right every wrong and I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, God does. When I turn my concerns over to Him, I am able to continue to make my way to eternity knowing that God is holding my hand. And in my weakness, I am made strong.
This Thanksgiving and everyday will you join me in praying Pauley Perette’s prayer?
“Lord, thank you for everything and forgive me for everything”.
And watch how these words will change hearts and renew spirits.
God, make a fresh start in me, and shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Psalm 51:10 (The Message Bible)