Sticking with calendar establishment, I feel the duty to write a post on thankfulness.
My friend Nena and I switch out teaching Sunday school to third and fourth graders. Yesterday she taught and I filled out records (and the kids bellies with donuts).
It came time for the opening question.
Is it easy to be thankful?
I was dying to interject.
"I know this one!!!!"
But my final answer would be nope. Being thankful isn't always easy. Not for me anyway.
I wasn't particularly thankful this morning when a stray cat left a smelly pile of autumn, fruity pebbles-looking poop on our sidewalk as a Monday morning offering.
I'm not thankful when I get stopped for speeding or when I find a large roach in the middle of the night when I just want to go to the bathroom.
I don't remember being thankful when I look under my kids' beds or the time when one of my kids just as much as said they hated me.
I wasn't bubbling with thankfulness recently when I received a medical bill that was much higher than the doctor promised.
I could go on.
- Being thankful for some of our circumstances can feel just plain difficult if not nearly impossible.
Being thankful can be difficult when we are
- Small-minded (that darn cat)
- Looking outside, beyond, our circumstances and being thankful is doable. It's even commanded.
...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
It doesn't suggest we be thankful for all of our circumstances, just that we be thankful in them.
I'm thinking of a friend whose husband is my age. He went in to the doctor last weekend for what he thought was a virus. He now has a port set up for chemo treatments as cancer has been found. I doubt she's thankful that he has cancer. But she told me she's thankful for their insurance. She's thankful that he went in for "that virus" and that the cancer was found and is now being aggressively treated. She's thankful for the meals her coworkers have already bombarded them with.
I'm not thankful that the next two months will drain my energy and bank account. But I'm thankful that we're in a season of giving; a time when there's a more felt spirit of loving one another.
I'm thankful the stray cat that left that gift this morning is not my cat. (Did I go too far?)
We have much to be thankful for. Our tough circumstances can either be a distraction from being thankful or a reminder to look beyond our pain or the hard (or to a lesser degree, the annoying) thing we're going through. We've ALWAYS a reason to be thankful.
To be full of thanks is to be full of God.
We're a saved people. God is always with us. And he's always good.
What are you going through today that you need holy perspective to see beyond?