If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. – Gerald Good
I’ve always been a pretty optimistic person. I guess I have always been a pretty thankful person too. But it’s easy to be thankful when everything is going smoothly, and to be honest it just makes sense to be thankful when life is going your way.
But what about the days when everything seems to be going wrong? When the very last thing you want to do is be thankful? Does it even make sense to be thankful?
This last month many things happened that weren’t exactly in my plans. Beginning with rushing one of my children to the ER in the middle of the night and ending with an infestation of lice (I’m not even going to mention everything else that happened in between). Let’s just say, it wasn’t exactly a picture perfect month.
I’m going to be completely honest with you, I wish I could sit here and tell you that I didn’t let it get to me, and that I was a perfect example through it all. But, I’m not going to tell you that.
Actually after a couple weeks of “stuff” happening, my normal optimistic self started to get weary. I started to feel empty and even weak. I was reading my Bible and talking to my Heavenly Daddy, but something wasn’t right.
I know now what happened.
I took my eyes off the good that God was doing all around me. I had my eyes focused on the problems, and whatever you focus on, you magnify. I was making my problems bigger than they really were.
Now on the outside you may not have been able to tell that this was all going on inside of me, but just because it wasn’t noticeable doesn’t mean it was any less real. The inside battles are some of the most difficult ones we face.
One of the biggest things I had done was stopped giving thanks for the good around me. When you stop taking the time to be thankful, you stop seeing the things in life to be thankful for.
The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! – Henry Ward Beecher
It’s not easy to give thanks when it seems everything is going wrong, but this is the most crucial time to give thanks! Thanking Jesus takes your eyes off of you, this world, and the problems that surround you. You are now focusing your attention on the One who loves you and who has solved every problem that has ever existed.
Once I put my focus back on Jesus and stepped back into thanksgiving, I noticed a change. It wasn’t that all the circumstances in my life changed instantly, but I realized I was strengthened on the inside. Why? Because thanksgiving produces joy. Joy produces strength. Not my strength, but His strength in me. Oh, and those things that had been so big in my life started to shrink in comparison to His goodness.
The joy of God is your strength! Nehemiah 8:10
It’s amazing what power the words, “Thank you, Jesus!” hold.
Thanksgiving is acknowledging that you know don’t deserve the good in your live, but that Jesus, deserving of every good thing, gave you the right to share in all of our Father’s goodness. A love greater than anything we are familiar with has been showered on us, do we have something to be thankful for? I say, yes!
Look for the goodness in your life. If you have Jesus, you have goodness in your life. The more you look for goodness, the more goodness you will see.
There are so many things to be thankful for, so I encourage you to look around you. Look in the unexpected places for something to be thankful for. When you are full of thanks it is impossible to be full of anything else!
I’m thankful for the unending supply of crumbs on my floor that I have to sweep up every day, because it tells me that I have three healthy children who are well able to make a mess!
I’m thankful that my husband doesn’t always agree with me, because it gives me a different perspective on the issues of life. (And it has saved me from making some stupid mistakes!)
I’m thankful for the gray hairs popping up on my head, it only means I’m one day closer to seeing my Savior!
If you can only find one thing to be thankful for today, grab a hold of it, and don’t let it go! Just keep being thankful. True thankfulness is uncommon because true thankfulness is not depended on your mood, emotions or your circumstances. True thankfulness is based on your faith in the goodness of God towards you.