Pollyana is one of my favorite old movies. A young girl comes to a stuffy, crabby town and transforms it with her cheerful outlook and her ability to see good where no one else can see it. She talks about how her preacher father looked through the Bible and found enough “glad texts” for every day of the year.
And now the U.S. Army is employing gladness as a preparation for soldiers before they go on tour of duty. The soldiers are taught to “hunt the good stuff”. Listen to this six-minute, intriguing interview on NPR at http://www.npr.org/2012/01/08/144862810/classes-teach-soldiers-to-be-army-strong.
Paul issues two commands. In 2 Timothy 2:3 he says, “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 he says, “give thanks in all circumstances.” I'm trying to absorb the idea that thanking God for the good in every circumstance equips a soldier to be able to endure hardship.
When I was young I read The Hiding Place, the story of Corrie Ten Boom whose family helped hide Jews in World War II, and she and her entire family ended up in a Nazi death camp because of it. She was annoyed when her sister thanked God for the lice in the camp. Betsy told her she was thankful because the lice kept the soldiers out of the barracks, which allowed them to meet together to read the Bible and encourage one another.
Hunt the good stuff.