One of my favorite things to do is to look through my journal and read some of the entries that I wrote in the past. I’ve always found that practice to be extremely uplifting and encouraging. There’s nothing like seeing where you WERE to give you better perspective on where you ARE. Below is a journal excerpt from about 4-5 months ago – around Thanksgiving Day.
Everything I wrote about back then – especially the things that didn’t make sense at the time – now are crystal clear. They weren’t back then, but in looking back, truly I can say that “God makes all things work together for good to those who love who Him, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Below is the excerpt (modified to fit blog post form of course). Enjoy!
This morning, I did the same thing that you and many others did around this beautiful country of ours… I GAVE THANKS. Thanksgiving is the one day of the year where everyone hopefully takes some time out of their day to give thanks for what God has given us. I would imagine that even the most miserable person could stop for just one day and find something to be thankful for.
But is just being thankful enough? Is that all that matters – that we say “thank you God” for something? Or is there more to giving thanks? Is it possible to be thankful for the WRONG things?
Usually when we think about giving thanks, we think of material/physical benefits. “Thank you God that I don’t have a disease” or “thank you God that that truck didn’t hit my car as it went through the red light.” That is great. But here is my point. Is that the right thing to be thankful for? Or is there more? Is it possible to take “thanksgiving” to a deeper level?
Let me share with you some of the items on my list:
Thank you God for MY PROBLEMS. Yes I wish they would go away, but I know that you are using those problems to make me a better man and even more so You are using them to make me like Your Son, Jesus. [see Romans 8:29].
Thank you God for MY EXPERIENCES IN LIFE. While there were some that really shook me and made me even want to call it quits on You, if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Please Father, continue to put me through the circumstances and situations that I need, even if they are the ones that I really don’t want. [see Lamentations 3:37-38]
Thank you God for YOUR SOVEREIGNTY. I know that no matter what happens to me or what anyone does to me, You always work to make me more like Your Son Jesus. Thank You for being Sovereign over all. [see Genesis 50:20]
Instead of just giving thanks for surface level blessings, maybe today is a good day to go deeper and thank God for some of those hidden blessings that He’s worked into our lives. What we give thanks for reveals what we value. Let’s show God today that we value our spirits more than our bodies – that we value our character more than our career or our comfort. Let’s show God that we value Him more than anything else in the entire universe.
There are some things that we should thank God for and then some things that we should REALLY thank God for.
DISCUSSION: What are you forgetting to give thanks for?