Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?

Red Light, Green Light – Give Thanks In Everything

This Sunday, our family was running late for church.  As we drove together, we came to two traffic lights where we normally have to stop at one of the lights.  This time both lights stayed green.  As we drove through the second life, I said, “Thank you God for green lights.”  As I said this, I smiled thinking about my mom.  When I was young, I could hear her saying these very words in our car perhaps as we were also running late for church.  I think my mom has always been a great example of being thankful for the simple things.

Getting back to my ride to church this past Sunday, the next traffic light we came to was red.  “Ahhh!  Come on!  We were on a roll!” My wife said to me, “Do you thank God for the red lights too?”  Wow, what a question.

On a much bigger scale, do I thank God for the ups AND downs?

The Bible talks about “giving thanks in all circumstances.”  I guess that seems easier said than done.

Am I thankful when I face a challenging situation at work?

Am I thankful when I’m hungry?

Am I thankful when I’m sick?

Am  I thankful when my wife or my kids face a challenge that I can’t fix?

Am I thankful in all circumstances?

It’s amazing that a few simple traffic lights can speak so loudly to what I need to hear.

What are you thankful for today? 


July 19, 2011 - Posted by | thankful, thoughts


  1. Great reminder, Jon! We are so blessed to have Godly parents. I wrote about an incredible lesson that my mom taught me when I was very little (

    No doubt that we thank God when things go well. It sometimes makes me shudder when I think about Job or any number of other Biblical people who had great trials even when trying to live for God. He does tell us to give thanks in everything. I think prayer is really more about allowing God to bend our will to meet His than us laying a laundry list before God.

    I could list a million things that I’m thankful for today, but oftentimes I choose to focus on what’s not perfect. Today, may we all walk in a spirit of thankfulness. Our ultimate destination is fully known! Thanks.

    Comment by fountain365 | July 19, 2011 | Reply

  2. I’m thankful for the red lights in my life that show God faithful and his sweet reminders that he sees me. Trust in darkness is worship at it’s purest.

    Comment by Beck | July 19, 2011 | Reply

  3. As often as I can I try to remember that being stopped by the light may keep me from getting into trouble down the road. I also try to remember that the guy driving down the road slowly without lights at night might not be a complete idiot but me years earlier when my battery was about to die and the alternator was out.
    It’s easy to remember God with the green, harder to remember him at the red, but so much better if we remember him at both.

    Comment by byrdmouse | July 19, 2011 | Reply

  4. Excellent reminder. Today I am thankful for my men’s group at church – a group that has been tremendously supportive these last 7 months.

    Comment by Dustin | July 19, 2011 | Reply

  5. Great analogy!

    Comment by Brandon | July 19, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks!

      Comment by jonstolpe | July 24, 2011 | Reply

  6. I have had the same thought about red lights! It is becoming easier to be thankful for red (at least when I am not running late); but, it is a bit harder to translate those into other areas of my life like when my family is sick.

    Great reminder Jon!

    Comment by Steven | July 20, 2011 | Reply

  7. I am in a season currently where I am learning to be thankful that God has given me the exact size ministry that He desires for me. Yes, I would like more speaking opportunities, but only if He knows that I am ready and can handle more. I’m thankful that He has entrusted me with ministry of any size. It truly is amazing to me!! I love Him so.

    Comment by Leah Adams | July 20, 2011 | Reply

    • Leah, This can be a challenge when we think we know what we want and need, but we fail to recognize that God knows what is best for us and when it’s best. Thanks for sharing!

      Comment by jonstolpe | July 20, 2011 | Reply

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