Am I really Thankful?
by Kim Larsen
Well, it’s that time of the year when we are asked to be thankful. Facebook participants provide us with a daily commentary on what they are thankful for. We are all writing down our own ideas of what we are thankful for so when we are asked, we will have something special to say. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good exercise to keep all of our blessings in our lives close to our heart, and to be grateful for what we have.
We were asked to think about something that we were thankful for this week during church, and find someone that we did not know and share what God had blessed us with this week. At the end of the sermon we had the opportunity to find our person and to complete the assignment. I was eager to find someone that I did not know and to introduce myself. I was pleasantly surprised by the testimony that my “someone” shared with me. It wasn’t a blessing really, it was something that happened that was not pleasant. Her response though was beautiful. She praised the Lord for the disappointment. What?? She was learning to be thankful in every situation. Isn’t that what we are told to do? Take a look at I Thessalonians 5:14-22, it says, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the faint hearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
It is easy to be thankful for good things, but we are not told to only be thankful in these but in EVERYTHING . That’s not quite as easy. We read about the Israelites who came out of Egypt, who murmured and complained about just about everything and we think, they sure were some ungrateful people, but are we really any different? Yes, we are thankful for our family and our friends, and our homes, and food on the table. Do we tell the Lord we are thankful for the fender bender, the broken leg, the cold wind that blew all of my paperwork across the yard? We get irritated with these annoyances, when we should take them in stride and be thankful in spite of them. It’s all about building character. Thank you Lord for helping me to overcome through your Son, Jesus Christ . Verse 23 puts it all into perspective. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”
I challenge you all to rewrite your thankfulness lists and start thanking Jesus for everything that comes your way. The good, the bad, the ugly, the worst. Let’s be real. Let’s be thankful!