What a loaded question, as we approach the time in which we give thanks. Yes, it is the week of Thanksgiving. A time when most Americans will gather around the table and say a short prayer of grace sprinkled with thanks. Many may partake in our family tradition, in which we go aroundthe table and give each person a moment to state for what they are thankful. Naturally, it is a very endearing time I personally treasure. However, for some it is a glimpse into their heart, and for others, it may only be lip service. The latter is something I hope is not true, but life does tell us more about our hearts than we care to admit.
One must understand, a thankful heart is not only shared on Thanksgiving. Heavens no! True thanksgiving is seen in everyday living. When we are thankful, we are humbly grateful for the little things in life. We try not to complain, and when we have a moment of self-pity, we hear a small voice telling us we should be grateful. We embrace relationships, for they are more cherished than material items-including our phones. Yes, we appreciate people, we lift others up,and we see just how fortunate we are. Indeed, this includes when things are not going our way. We clearly grasp, in this world there are many worse off than us.
Having traveled the world, I am amazed at how thankful people can be in a third-world country. You would think they would be miserable, but yet, I have seen some amazing smiles beam with thanksgiving! Sisters, it is so important we take the verse below to heart:
Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (ESV)
It says they knew God, but did not thank Him. YIKES! When we don’t acknowledge God, and give Him thanks for the little blessings, we are making a serious mistake. Who wants to give more to the ungrateful, right?
Sisters, please grasp, a grumbly heart is rooted in pride and destroys everything in its path. While on the path of grumbly, we are blind so many blessings along the way. We begin to notice what we don’t have, and do not enjoy what we do have. We see life as unfair and envy grows in our heart, then bitterness is always the next detour.
However, a thankful heart is grateful and rooted in humility. On this path, the eyes are open to the blessings, and we see a clearer view of God. We see that He knows what we need, and what we don’t need. We trust Him when we don’t get a certain job, for we must trust He has something better. We trust Him even when we are in pain, for He is there and He is working in the midst of our hurt. Yes, life may not be going our way, but that doesn’t mean we cannot find ONE thing to give thanks.
Sisters, the results of thanksgiving are remarkable. Complaining leaves our hearts heavy, and thanksgiving lightens the load. It is true, thanksgiving may not change our circumstance, but it can change our hearts. If our attitude changes, our hearts will overflow with humility. Therefore, don’t be stuck in the mire of being grumbly hateful, but choose today to humbly grateful, for this path has a much better view of life.