Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and with it comes a time when we will sit around with others and give thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives. Giving thanks is great and in fact, the Bible tells us to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and always and for everything (Ephesians 5:20); but do you ever just get sick of people giving thanks for the same kinds of things all the time? “I’m thankful for my house.” “I’m thankful for my wonderful job.” “I’m thankful for our health and or family.” Blah, Blah, Blah…
Don’t get me wrong, these are wonderful things to be thankful for and I am incredibly thankful for all of them and more. I could write a small book about all the things that I am thankful for in my life. But what if we approached thankfulness differently this year. What if, when it was your turn to say what you were thankful for, you turned to someone and told them that you were thankful for their faith and how they had made a difference in your life. What if you took the time to tell that mom who you saw handle a situation with her kid in a cool way, how thankful you were for her. What if you were honest about some hard times or difficult struggles in your life and could be thankful for how God got you through them and the lessons you learned.
Would that kind of thankfulness change anything? If someone came up to you and told you how thankful they were for you and your faith and how you had made a difference in their lives, how would that make you feel?
I know this kind of honesty isn’t easy, and being thankful for your kids and your car is what everyone expects to hear, but maybe this year we try to step outside the box a little.
I was driving the other day and took some time to turn off the radio (which almost never happens in my car!) and just breath for a minute. I found myself with an overwhelming thankfulness for who God had made me. Not in a conceited, “Thanks for making me awesome God!”, but thankful that he made me who I am, despite who I am. He made me the perfect fit for my wife. He made me good at my job. He made me with so much capacity for love for my kids. He did all of this, for me, even knowing how messed up I would turn out and how many times I would screw things up. Wow!
What are you thankful for?