I was almost finished with a blog post when I decided to take a break and check my email.
I was surprised to see holiday ads this early. After looking over that day’s selection of stuff I don’t need, I came back to my blog post. I reread it and realized it would never be sent.
Words can’t express what it takes to highlight two pages of work and hit delete. But, while I was looking at the ads, I had several new thoughts.
That’s how God often inspires. His thoughts come at random times, in different ways, but with focused intent. (I just wish I’d checked my emails before I’d written two pages.)
I looked at the holiday ads and realized Thanksgiving was coming, but, this year, I wasn’t feeling very thankful.
That thought led to these.
I’m not thankful, Lord, but I should be
I looked at the holiday ads and thought, “I’m not feeling thankful, Lord, but I know I should be.”
What do you do when you realize that something in your life is spiritually misaligned?
Those thoughts caused me to spend some time with the Lord, which led to my decision to start over on this blog post.
What thoughts, feelings, and events are causing you to lack gratitude right now?
Let’s face it: that isn’t a difficult list to write this year.
But I saw a pot holder in an ad with the verse, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
I didn’t need the pot holder, but I needed the reminder.
God wanted me to be thankful, and I really didn’t feel that way. How like God to use an ad to help me remember what he wants for my life and, hopefully, write a better blog post!
I like to shop for holiday dish towels. The messages make me smile. My kitchen counter currently sports a set that says “It’s Fall Y’all.”
If we have to dry dishes, we might as well smile about it.
There were a bunch of tea towels in the ads that simply carried one word: Blessed. 2020 hasn’t felt like a year of blessings, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t blessed.
The way to “give thanks in all circumstances” is to stop and realize that no matter what might seem bad, there is always something to be thankful for. God will always bless what he is able to bless.
Christians can give thanks in all circumstances because we have been given the blessing of eternal life. Our promise is a blessing today; heaven will be our promised blessing one day.
Another towel said “Gather here with grateful hearts.”
We all have needs right now that we bring to God. We pray for health, safety, healing, and peace for ourselves and others. This year, I find myself missing the chance to easily gather. I miss walking into a room and simply enjoying the company of others. But it is always safe to gather with the angels in the presence of God.
We can approach God’s presence anytime, with gratitude. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4). David’s verse of praise described the process of entering the gates of the Jerusalem temple and moving through the courts in order to draw near to the place that was called the Holy of Holies. The place that held the Ark of the Covenant, God’s Presence on earth.
The tea towel simply said “Gather.” God said, “Gather here, with me, anytime.” We should.
There was a personalized tea towel in the ad that said “Thankful for all my little turkeys.” My husband and I have two sons, two daughters-in-law, and four grandkids. Is there anything in this world better than family?
We FaceTimed with two of our grandkids, and they sang the first verse of “Amazing Grace” to us. We have a LOT to be thankful for in our lives.
And aren’t we thankful to know that our names have been embroidered on God’s list of “little turkeys?” (That’s not a bad description of us these days!) God made certain we could live our days on earth knowing we are his family.
That promise is something to feel thankful for every day.
A sign for the times
The website also sold a wooden sign that read “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”
I came kind of close to making that purchase! This season of politics, COVID–19, and contention can take a toll on our soul. It can feel like this life just isn’t good enough. But Scripture tells us, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
I saw a beautiful sunrise this morning, and the harvest moon makes it seem like a light is left on during the night. God made this day and he will make tomorrow. Let’s rejoice and be glad in our knowledge that we have enough.
In fact, most of us have enough to share.
There was an ad for a journal titled “Grat-i-tude.” The cover carried this definition: “The quality of being thankful. Readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Gratitude is a key ingredient of joy. A lot of people lack joy right now.
- We can be consumed with what we don’t have instead of what we own.
- We might think too often about what isn’t good instead of all that is.
- We might ask God for what we want instead of spending our time with him, grateful for his abundant blessings.
Maybe the most important cure we are waiting for is a vaccine labeled “gratitude.”
Let’s be ready to show our appreciation for all that God has done. Let’s be ready to return his kindness to others. The real cure our nation needs is to wake up and realize all we should be grateful for.
It was a cure for this blogger.
I didn’t buy a thing I saw advertised, but I still received a LOT.
I’m looking out my window at the day the Lord has made.
I am glad for it.
Thank you, Lord, for speaking, even when we don’t plan to listen. We are grateful for all we have and all we can hope for. Mostly, Lord, we are grateful for you.
P.S. Have you signed up for my bible study, Foundations of Faith, yet? It’s not too late, we just released lesson 4!
Visit https://www.janetdenisonbiblestudy.com/ to sign up for this study, if you’ve already signed up you can login and access the newest video too.