Just like everyone else, we have been experiencing some lean times in our pocketbook lately. My sister’s family is in worse shape than we are, and over the past few months I have listened to her give one account after another of how God has come through for them and provided for their needs. One day I was whining to my mother about it.
“Why isn’t God doing those things for me?” I complained as I listed the similar things that I need, but God has not seen fit to drop in my lap.
“He will provide for you, too,” she assured me, “even if He does not do it the same way.”
A few days later, I was going through some papers on my desk and I came across the November newsletter from our old church down state. I always enjoy reading the Pastor’s commentary, so I turned to that page and began reading. The topic? Thankfulness – of course!
He described how the Pilgrims were not only thanking God for the provision and blessings of that year; but also for what they had saved up for the future - for the coming winter when food would be scarce.
He went on to say that we should be storing up gratitude for when we enter those lean times. We do not learn to “give thanks in all circumstances” when we are in the hard times or times of suffering. It is a discipline that we learn AHEAD of those times so that when they come, Thankfulness will be such a habit that it will flow out of us automatically.
It struck me to my core. I have not been thankful!
I should know better!
I realized that what God wants from me is thankfulness. His will for my life is that I should be thankful – regardless of how He chooses to provide for me – or even if He wants to allow me to struggle for a while in order to lean more on HIM. (My sister said that this out-pouring of blessing has come after two years of feeling as though her prayers went no farther than the ceiling.)
So I will start right now.
I am thankful that I have a home, and food, and HEAT (Brrr. It’s cold up here!)
I am thankful for the health of myself and my family.
I am thankful that my husband has a job. So many others are searching for one right now. We have lived in that trial several times so I know how hard it is.
I am thankful to be married to a good man.
I am thankful for my children. Even though the verdict is still out on them, so far they are good kids.
Most importantly, I am thankful that I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and that I have the blessing of living under His grace and mercy every single day. Praise God!
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV