Confession: When November started and I saw the first of the month of gratitude posts I rolled my eyes.
Confession: When Ann Voskamp’s 1,000 gifts was all the rage I thought it was positive thinking mumbo jumbo and didn’t want to read it.
Confession: I don’t feel like giving thanks right now.
Once again, God has ransacked my plans.
The second day of November rolled around, and as is often the case, I was scrolling through my news feeds before spending time with the Lord. I saw a few of the “day two..I’m thankful for..” posts and vowed to myself that I wouldn’t participate. It’s just silly, I told myself. It’s just people saying good stuff they have going on in their lives and refusing to rejoice in the uncomfortable, or the bad, or the wherever God has them.
Oh but that Heavenly Father of ours has a sense a humor doesn’t He? I should really start to see it coming…but then I wouldn’t be blindsided and knocked over by truth and forced to sit it for a while so I guess it works out well.
I was reading from Joni Eareckson Tada’s book A Place of Healing (If you don’t know her story, Joni is a quadriplegic), and as providence would have it, she was talking about giving thanks and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
“God isn’t asking you to be thankful,” she said, “He’s asking you to give thanks.”
Just like that.
He swept in and left me breathless, and without excuse to not give thanks.
You see, being thankful involves my emotions, which are sometimes out of control. But giving thanks involves my participation and my choice about my situation. Giving thanks involves a step of faith, and steps of faith can often be hard.
Giving thanks doesn’t always come easy, and that’s ok. What’s not ok is choosing not to take the steps anyway.
I love the concept Ann shares in 1,000 gifts, which I finally read and actually loved, that eucharisteo (grace, joy, thanksgiving) always precedes the miracle.
Maybe the miracle is that in giving thanks I will actually ultimately be thankful.
So. I’m still not going to do thirty days of social media statuses on things that are going well in my life. But I am going to go before the Lord and give thanks. I am going to pick up the practice again of daily numbering ways I can give thanks.
Confession: I have no idea how Biblically sound or accurate this is. I don’t know if Paul purposefully wrote “give thanks” instead of “be thankful,” but I know that that’s what God spoke to me, and I know I am being called into a time of giving thanks. Praying that will lead to me ultimately being thankful.
How does giving thanks strike you? Is it easy for you? What are you able to give thanks for?