You know, there’s this little verse in the Bible that goes something like this, “In everything give thanks.” That’s sound just so nice, doesn’t it? It’s nice to be thankful for my food, and my house, and my health, and my family, and my…. you get the point. But that whole “everything” part…that can get kind of tricky when you really stop to think about it. Thankful for everything? You mean the “everything” that includes toddlers that throw tantrums in the middle of grocery stores…and the dirty foot prints all over the freshly mopped floor…and that extra bill I wasn’t expecting in the mail…and that snooty person who just made me feel really bad….you mean that “everything”???
I’m afraid I don’t much care for that idea myself. Ask me how I feel after I’ve had a day of the sky opening up and raining mud and frogs on my entire day….grateful isn’t the word that usually comes to mind. Fact is, God probably had a pretty good idea he wasn’t telling us to do an easy thing when He put that verse in the Bible. Pretty sure He might have had a clue that not everything is easy to be grateful for…I mean, He did spend 33 years living here Himself after all. Being venomously hated and maltreated to the point of a violent death isn’t exactly the ideal life. But He put that verse in the Bible anyway.
Why? Obviously, I can’t tell you why but, I could take a guess. Maybe He knew that being thankful for everything, even the hard stuff, brings healing to our hearts. It allows us to let go of all that nasty anger, frustration, hurt and sadness. You can’t mix oil and water right? Well, you also can’t mix dark ugly feelings with thing of the light like love, joy, and thankfulness. One or the other is going to take over my heart…and it’s the one I choose to give the most power to. When I am secure in the fact that God loves me, that everything God does is right, and that sin and the affects of it exist in the world because of the bad choices of man…than I can find the strength to choose to be grateful no matter what. Thankfulness is a choice. If I wait until I’m feeling thankful, to actually be thankful, it’s probably not going to happen very often.
I think its marvelous to hear so much talk about being grateful this time of year…lets just not ignore those other eleven wonderful months of the year in our November fervor. Let’s also not fall into the trap of adjusting our gratefulness meter to the level of how good we deem our life to be going at the present moment. God is always good to us, all of the time…and that is something well worth being grateful for, every second of every day.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
This is our day on the blog to refocus. You can find more Refocus Challenge posts HERE.