When Thanksgiving time comes around each year, I’m always reminded to sit down and really dwell on all the things I am thankful for. I wish I did this more often – it should be a daily thing. I’m a lists person, so I normally make a list and actually write it all down. Obviously it gets to be a pretty long list. I’m thankful for my loving family, my incredible friends, an amazing job, an awesome city I get to call home, financial stability, and the list goes on. These are all things that make it easy to be thankful. I don’t have to think too hard about them because I feel blessed by them each and every day. But this Thanksgiving season I’m being reminded that it’s important to recognize and be thankful for all things in all seasons of life because this is what God calls us to do. We are not just to be thankful for the highs and the things that bring joy and love, but the trials, the tribulations, and the setbacks as well.
Those things aren’t normally what come to mind first when you think about what you’re thankful for, right? You don’t first think about being thankful for the friendship you lost this year or the sickness that fell on your family member or the car wreck that forced you to have to buy a new car. You don’t think about the raise you didn’t get or the job opportunity that didn’t come or the relationship that you lost. But why is it important to be thankful for those things as well? Because each trial and tribulation you face will bring good to your life if you allow yourself to see the good. If you allow yourself to see the growth, strength, and courage that come with difficult seasons then you will learn to be thankful for those times.
When you are honestly able to be thankful for EVERYTHING in your life, your perspective will change. Yes, it is important to be thankful for all the obvious amazing blessings. We easily forget how good we have it and how much we are blessed with. What I’m saying is that it’s important to be thankful in ALL circumstances. If there is an area in your life that doesn’t seem to have anything worth being thankful for, take a second to think about all angles of the situation. Is there a hidden blessing you might have missed? Is there a blessing in store for you down the road as a result of the situation? Maybe you are learning something about yourself through the process.
Today, I encourage you to consider these questions: Are you thankful for both the highs AND the lows? Are you thankful in the hills AND the valleys? Are you thankful for the comebacks AND the setbacks? As we approach Thanksgiving in just a couple days, keep these words from Paul in mind:
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
-1 Thessalonians 5:18-