Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:11-24

There has been a lot of appreciation going around recently, and rightly so.  We appreciate doctors, nurses, first responders, truckers, food workers, teachers, parents, and all those jobs or service areas that are deemed essential during this time of social distancing and stay at home orders.  Really, there are so many to mention that even one paragraph could not cover them all. 

In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Paul encourages us to “encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”  It has been great to see all the appreciation being shared on social media feeds these days.  It has been great to see commercials on television showing appreciation.  It has been great to see individuals and families building each other up with encouraging words and hope-filled sentiments.  It has been great to see the church family looking out for each other and asking what each other needs…. just as in fact you are doing.

Several other verses in chapter 5 also stand out during this time.  Verses 16-18 say, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances…”  Undoubtedly, this time of being limited in our activities and not being able to be together will also make us appreciate those things even more when we can once again participate in them and actually be with others.  

Hopefully we will have an even greater appreciation for worshiping together, gathering in groups, having coffee with friends, watching and attending sporting events, going out to eat at a restaurant, going to school, and wow, the list could go on and on.  It may be hard sometimes to give thanks in all circumstances but we will surely give thanks in the future for many things we might have taken for granted in the past.

Make it Personal:  What would your list look like if you had to list all of the things you are thankful for and appreciate during this time of not having them?  Continue to show your appreciation to others during this time and think about how much you appreciate all those things you aren’t able to do right now. 

Be blessed and stay safe, Glen Rhodes