So, we just got finished with Thanksgiving when we were supposed to give thanks for all of our blessings. Just having a stable food supply and a place to live makes us more fortunate than probably 90% of the rest of the world, so we should be thanking God every day for just about everything!! Nonetheless, it is nice to have a day to remember that everything that sustains us comes from God.
So, I’m thankful for all the usual things like food, shelter, and family. I’m thankful for LSU football at the moment because they’re winning against Arkansas (but that may be temporary depending on the outcome of the game). I’m thankful for two funny and beautiful children. I’m thankful for an amazing husband who loves me as much as he does.
But, sometimes, it’s hard to be thankful. But, God tells us to be thankful for everything – and he doesn’t qualify it by saying to be thankful for all the good stuff. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” Ouch.
It’s hard to be thankful for migraines, but Paul writes that we are to give thanks in ALL circumstances, not just the ones that we like. And, I’m not liking the migraine I’ve got right now. Being thankful for the tests and trials of life doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t make an attempt to resolve them. I’m still seeing my chiropractor and adjusting my medications. But, I have to thank God for the migraines.
Why? Why in the world would God want us to thank him for bad things as well as good things? A couple of things come to mind. First of all, what appears to be bad may eventually turn out to be good. Joseph told his brothers that what they intended for evil, God intended for good. God may have some greater use for my migraines. Second, I think that God teaches us simply through the act of gratitude. When we can take our eyes off ourselves long enough to thank God for the bad stuff in our lives, we can look around and see what other needs there are in the world. That’s just my thoughts. Let’s face it – God’s mind is way bigger than mine and so he’s probably got even more going on than I can think of right now.
So, what do you need to be thankful for today? What is hard to be thankful for?