But What If You Don’t Feel Thankful?
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Perhaps you aren’t feeling very thankful this week.
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…
Some people call this holiday “Turkey Day” but that would be limiting. It is called Thanksgiving to prompt us to dig deep enough to find something which offers hope and promise.
To say Thank You. Even if we don’t feel thankful.
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 Savior 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.
under the mercy, Lucinda
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”
©2018 Lucinda Secrest McDowell www.EncouragingWords.net
This Devotional appears in “A Joy-Full Season” Holiday Wellness Study from my good friends at First Place 4 Health. Want to Stay Healthy during the upcoming holidays? 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!)
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