As the colorful falling leaves float to the ground and the calendar moves to November, our thoughts are naturally drawn to Thanksgiving. While I am thankful for this yearly reminder to give thanks, I am challenged to remember that giving thanks is not a discipline meant only for the 4th Thursday in November.
I am humbled by the reminder that Paul gives in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “…give thanks in all circumstances. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Give thanks in all circumstances, really?
There is no denying that life is challenging. But too often we are so caught up in the challenges of life, focusing so much of our energy on our struggles and burdens that we miss the blessings. We overlook the gift that God has given us in Christ Jesus and we forget to thank Him and celebrate the blessings and freedom we have in Christ!
“Gratitude … goes beyond the “mine” and “thine” and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” –Henri J. M. Nouwen
Spend a few moments today considering our call as Christians to live Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Be intentional about practicing gratitude by acknowledging that all that you are and all that you have is given as a gift of love! Celebrate! Raise the roof with your song of praise!
To guide you in your spiritual practice of gratitude and thanksgiving, click on this link for a reflection inspired by Psalm 32: Give Thanks