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December 02, 2014
As I sit here reflecting on the Thanksgiving weekend, I am overwhelmed with how faithful our God is and how good He is to His children.
As I drove back up the mountains of NC, through the hills of Tennessee and across the flat land of Louisiana, my heart was just utterly thankful for so many things.
And then as I unpacked my suitcase, went through my work emails once again and started to mentally prepare for my week ahead, I let my mind get consumed and the previous contentment and restfulness suddenly flew out the window.
As my to-do list started to grow, my gratitude somehow become replaced with my human tendency to figure out everything right this very moment.
How does it run away so fast?
How can we manage to go from grateful, loving, content and peaceful people to people controlled by anxiety, deterred by distraction and manipulated by circumstances?
We take our eyes off the prize.
You see, what I think God really wanted to show me this Thanksgiving was this: I can trust who He says that He is.
What do I mean by that?
Well, I can start praising Him for what He WILL do in my life before He does it.
I can thank Him for the miracle before the delivery occurs or the situation changes.
I can enter a situation fully confident because I KNOW that no matter the outcome, all is well with my soul. And how do I know that? Because He’s got it.
Thankfulness is far more than a reaction we have when we receive something or a particular outcome in a situation; Thankfulness is a lifestyle we maintain when we focus more on the Author of our circumstances than the circumstances themselves.
It is an attitude that we CHOOSE to have and keep because our Father is good and He alone is enough.
Our human tendency is to link thankfulness to receiving things- “blessings” – as we commonly refer to them as; however, we’ve got it all kinds of mixed up. Thankfulness stems from Jesus and as long as you have Him, you have enough. Nothing can be taken away that can steal your gratitude because it never stemmed from your material possessions anyway.
And can I tell you something?
It is NATURAL to focus on what we don’t have rather than what we do have, especially during the Christmas season. Despite our good intentions to be people of good moral standing, it is our human tendency to make our own wish-list and be disappointed when what we can’t scratch off is greater than what we can.
Therefore, we must make a continual effort to remain anchored in gratitude.
When you want to complain, thank Jesus for all He has already given you.
When you want to be anxious, thank Jesus that He has gone before you, with you and after you and your heart can rest in His preparation for you.
When you want to be stressed, thank Jesus that He has everything under control in the palm of His hand.
When you want to be dissatisfied, thank Jesus that He has supplied all your needs in His name.
When you want to focus on the gifts instead of the giver, thank Jesus for His mercy and grace and that He paid the ultimate price for you!
Trust me, when our hearts remain firmly planted in gratitude, we realize that we have all that we need and He is more than enough for us.
Thankfulness may not be your initial instinct or emotional tendency but your soul will notice the difference and eventually, after you choose to be thankful day after day, it will become more of a habit.
Thanksgiving is a holiday but being thankful is a lifestyle.
Thank Him today—He is worthy!!!
“Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” –Ephesians 5:20
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