It’s the time of year when everyone is talking about thankfulness. But I have to admit– sometimes I don’t feel thankful. I can have a tendency to focus on the negatives. Maybe some of you are that way too? I think we’ve all got areas of our lives where the bad stands out.
Maybe it’s the loud-mouthed, know-it-all relative you’re going to be spending the holidays with?
Maybe it’s the friend who makes you so frustrated because she lets everyone walk all over her and take advantage of her?
Maybe it’s the place you live. I know I can get frustrated with where I live, since it doesn’t even have an Old Navy or a Chick-Fil-A!
Or maybe even the kids, who are already getting wild and crazy and whiny, and winter has just barely begun!
But here’s the deal: when we get so focused on the negatives, we stop seeing how richly blessed we are. Sometimes it’s something where we have to choose to change our focus and praise God for the good, and stop looking at the bad. We may have to delve deep to see the blessings, but they’re there if we really look for them.
That loud-mouthed relative? He’s the first person to volunteer when someone needs help or there’s hard work to be done.
The friend who lets everyone walk all over her? She’s generous and kind, and she’s an amazing mom.
And while the place where I live definitely leaves something to be desired in terms of shopping opportunities, it does have amazing recreational opportunities. We’ve got hiking, biking and skiing just minutes away. Not to mention that both my parents and my in-laws live here.
And while my kids know how to push my buttons, they’re such a source or joy in my life. There is nothing better than the feel of their sweet little arms wrapped around me.
So I just wanted to share this, in case you are similar to me and are wired with a tendency towards negativity.
When you start feeling it coming on, go to God. Ask Him to show you the good in other people, the good in a situation or place, or even just how blessed you are– and then be prepared to be amazed.
It may come in the smallest things that we take for granted– like the fact that we have running water anytime we want it, when others have to haul their water for miles each day, not knowing if that water is even okay for their family to be drinking.
There are so many little things that we take for granted. But if we ask God to show them to us, I believe that He will reveal them, and help us to see how amazingly blessed we are.
But even if you can’t see the little things– focus on the big thing. Jesus died for our sins, and we have the privilege to worship Him every single day! Can you think of anything that could make you more thankful than that?
So as we move towards Thanksgiving, I think it would bless each of us to take an inventory of how richly blessed we are, to choose to be thankful, and then to offer thanks to the one from whom we receive all good things: God our creator.
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