by Sarah Nelson
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Thanksgiving always brings to mind one of my first attempts at making gravy. I was a
young bride bursting with domestic enthusiasm. My husband and I invited another
young family from our church over to celebrate the giving of thanks, including sharing
what I envisioned to be the Good Housekeeping seal of award Thanksgiving dinner.
The turkey was roasted to a nice golden brown crispiness on the outside, and tender
perfection on the inside. Marshmallow covered sweet potatoes were ready to be popped
in the oven for a quick bake. Now it was time to put what I thought would be the easiest
of all food preparations together. The gravy. How hard could this be? I had my pan
drippings from the turkey. Had some salt nearby. Was it cornstarch or flour? I could not
remember, so I got both out from the pantry. Browning liquid? Oops – didn’t have that,
so I was set to be creative with just the right mix of food coloring. How hard could light
brown be, really?
After several emergency phone calls were placed to my grandma and mother who
graciously didn’t laugh at me (at least that I heard), I was ready to proceed. Why wasn’t
my gravy thickening? Must need more flour, a little more cornstarch too couldn’t hurt.
A few drops of this color, a few drops of that, surely soon this gravy would look
As we gathered around the table I explained that the gelatinous glob of lemon yellow
foodstuff in the gravy boat was not a custardy dessert, but indeed gravy. My dear
husband tried to be a good sport with his affirmation that it was sure to taste good. I did
my best to hold back the tears and enjoy the presence of my dear friends and our little
family gathered around the table. The truth was, the “gravy” didn’t taste good. It was
like trying to swallow wet chalk. Believe me, the last thing I felt like doing was giving
As I think back to the circumstances of that long ago Thanksgiving feast failure, I am
reminded that all of us as women have seen circumstances of much greater depth,
disappointment, and discouragement than a batch of botched gravy. Giving thanks in
seasons of grieving the loss of a loved one, the ending of a relationship, the pain of
moving, all are difficult if not nearly impossible in our own strength. And yet, as a
follower of Christ we know that His will for us is to give thanks in ALL things.
This Thanksgiving, whether you are in a season of rejoicing, or in one of pain, let’s give
thanks together to the One who deserves our gratitude every moment of every day. When
we feel like the world is crumbling around us, let us rest in the One who holds every
moment of every day together by His will and perfect plan. It is His will that we give
thanks in all things. Will you?