“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I just recently read Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, and it was so impactful that I think about it every single day.
Ann’s whole idea is to be thankful for everything. And I mean everything. Which sounds easy at first, but it takes discipline and perseverance. So often, I forget to be thankful, to enjoy all the little moments that make life so special. But I don’t want to live like that anymore.
So my little challenge for us is this: let’s fight to be thankful. Not just on days when everything is going perfectly, but every day. Let’s make a point to put down our phones, take our focus off ourselves, and actually look those we love in the eyes and tell them that we’re thankful for them. Let’s tell them what we love about the way they love us, and call out the good and the potential that we see inside of them.
Let’s not ever leave a place again without telling someone that we’re grateful for them, for what they’ve done, or even just for being alive. Let’s train our hearts to be overflowing with thankfulness. Let’s look to Jesus and thank him even more quickly and frequently than we thank those around us. Let’s take quiet moments to reflect on His goodness and what he has done in our lives this week, this semester, this year.
Because I think if we can learn to be thankful in this moment here, we can stop clinging so desperately to the hope that we will find satisfaction in the future. If I can be thankful for this life, this body, these gifts that I have today, maybe I will stop wishing my life away in the hopes that I will be made whole and perfect while I’m here on this earth.
The fact is, this world is messy and we’re never going to be truly content until we make it home to Jesus. And for me, even though eternity with Him is the deepest longing of my heart, it would be such a shame to get to Heaven only to realize I never appreciated anything Jesus gave me while living here on earth.
Look around people! Jesus is alive! He’s redeeming us moment by moment, day by day, from glory to glory! Let’s be thankful. Let’s be alert and always ready to give thanks for what He’s doing today. Because when we do that, we’re going to find that joy and contentment isn’t so far gone; it’s not found in the plans of my future, but it’s hiding in the everyday moments of the present, just waiting for us to turn around and be thankful.
Something to think about: Try and keep a list of ten things you are thankful for today. They can range from small and simple (i.e., coffee before breakfast, a good grade on a test) to huge and profound (i.e. a friend giving their life to Christ, a parent’s healing from cancer). Whatever comes to your mind today, stop and jot it down on a list. Have more than ten? Keep going! You could fill journals with all of your thanks!