Thanksgiving is a week and a half away and this is about the time when those “I’m thankful for” posts begin to appear all over, well, everything. I love Thanksgiving. I really do. (Not as much as Christmas, but that’s a different matter entirely.) Thanksgiving is when people stop, even if it’s only for a second, and reflect on things they are thankful, or grateful for. And it’s great. But in the past few days of thinking about being thankful and what gratitude and thankfulness truly looks like, I want to take a bit of a different approach with my thankful list this time around.
Because to be honest, I can tell you guys all of the tangible things I’m thankful for this time of year, like pumpkin spice lattes and bonfires on crisp fall nights. Cozy sweaters and good coffee. A place to live and food to eat. Friends. Family. A job. This list could go on. And those things are all great. Especially those pumpkin spice lattes. But it feels unfair to all that the Lord has been teaching me to just simply stop there.
Because He’s been showing me a lot about gratitude and what it means to have a perspective of thankfulness. And with that being said, I want to tell you what I’m finding myself thankful for these days.
Grace. Because I need it every single day. No exceptions.
Forgiveness. Because I make so many mistakes and sin is a part of my every day life. And I’m so thankful that I serve a gracious and forgiving Father.
Hope. Because He truly has become my anchor. And there is nothing and no one else I would rather place my hope in.
Redemption. Because no matter what my life has held, and no matter what lies ahead, I know that He will redeem those far from perfect moments and use them for His glory.
These are the things I’m thankful for this year. And every year, really. But this year it is so prominent in my heart and mind as He has been teaching me to have a perspective of thankfulness. And I can’t let this season pass without addressing this. And share with you what I’m learning in the process.
Thankfulness isn’t something that’s reserved for one month a year.
Thankfulness is an all-the-time, every-single-day thing. Not just a once-a-year and let-me-find-30-things-I’m-thankful-for kind of list. Because no matter the circumstances, there is always something to be thankful for. And these things I’m thankful for, they aren’t bound to a season or circumstance. And that’s even better. His grace isn’t limited, His forgiveness doesn’t just show up once or twice a year, and because we have Jesus, we will always have hope.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
Beloved, the world will tell you to gravitate towards those things you can see. To be thankful for the things you can literally put your finger on. My challenge to you is to go beyond those things this year. And while we can’t hold grace, forgiveness, hope, and redemption in our hands (at least not the way we can hold that pumpkin spice latte), we can see the evidence of them in our lives. And those things are more than enough to be thankful for. Jesus is more than enough to be thankful for.
Pause to consider…
-What is Jesus teaching you right now?
-Is there something in those lessons from Him you are thankful for?
-What is keeping you from a perspective of thankfulness?
-What are the things that Jesus is asking you to be thankful for?