When You Don’t Feel Thankful
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Perhaps you aren’t feeling very thankful today.
The world is a scary place. The losses have piled up one after another — health, relationships, financial security, dreams — and you really wish everyone would just quit asking you to list your one thousand gifts…
When I am in these hard places, I find it helpful to focus my soul on these two things:
- Remember that GOD is the One we thank.
G.K. Chesterton once famously wrote, “The worst moment for an atheist is when he is really thankful and has no one to thank.” To whom are you thankful today? “Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.” (1 Chronicles 29:13) This verse reminds us that God is the one we praise. We thank Him because He loves us more than we can possibly imagine. He has our back. Knowing that we are created, loved and sustained by a merciful and gracious God is the ultimate reason for giving thanks.
- Make a CHOICE to live in Gratitude, no matter what.
So, I can either complain and whine about the direction life has taken me— the detour in the road, the closed door, the seemingly impossible challenge — or I can believe that nothing is too hard for God-with-us (that is Emmanuel, one of the names of Jesus). Maybe your situation is darker this year than last, but if you know God as the Great Provider, you can choose to declare: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habakkuk 3.17-18)
I’m grateful for parents who taught me early on that Thanksgiving is actually a way of life. Recently I discovered a small piece of paper with a long childhood list — my ‘ticket’ to Thanksgiving dinner. I was startled to count 70 different things on this thankful list — in categories, no less! If I could write that many at age twelve, just think of all I can thank Him for today after so much more life and blessing.
What is ONE THING you can Thank God for today?
Even in the pain, even in the loneliness, even in the uncertainty. Now breathe it out or write it out. Good for you.
Heavenly Father, I thank you. Most of all for loving me, for being my Saviour and my Lord. But also for the many blessings you have showered upon my life. Every good gift is from you and I will declare my gratitude by living with a thankful heart. Not just on this holiday, but always. Amen.
This Devotional appears in the Brand New “A Joy-Full Season” Holiday Wellness Study from my good friends at First Place 4 Health. Order your copy HERE NOW! (I am grateful to be a contributing author of several devotionals in it – there are lots more from fabulous people!)
under the mercy, Cindy
Advent is coming! In fact, the first Sunday is during Thanksgiving weekend. Wouldn’t you like to have a more nurturing and peaceful November AND December? Then be sure to DOWNLOAD my FREE PRINTABLE Advent 2016 Guide listing one-word-a-day devotional from the “Shine” Advent season of my book “Dwelling Places.” Click HERE or on the photo and be sure to soak in God’s Word each day!
©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
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