It’s easy to give thanks when you like what happens. But since life’s next disappointment is usually right around the corner, it’s often short-lived. This is why it’s time to shift from giving thanks to being thankful. Giving thanks is what you do when you like what happens. Being thankful is who you are because of God’s unconditional love that changes what you see, experience, feel and understand – including victories, disappointments and tragedies. So be a thankful person by proclaiming all day long, “God is good all the time and all the time God is good!”
I’ve realized something. Not just in my head, but in the depth of my soul. It’s a simple thing, but foundational for everything else.
It’s the gift You have given me of saying “Thank You, Lord!” I can say it with every breath. I can say it in the most painful moments. Indeed, I can say it for an eternity and never have said it enough.
So thank You, Lord! Thank You for the gift of life. Thank You for creating me in Your image. Thank You For Your unconditional, transforming and eternal love. Thank You for Your joy that trumps my pain. Thank You For Your hope that overcomes my despair. Thank You For Your life that overcomes my death. Thank You for Your love that changes everything about everything.
Yes, thank You, Lord!
Did you know that you can always choose to give thanks? Well, you can. It may be for God’s presence that offers real hope. Or a soulful conversation in the face of death that brings comfort. Or even a re-ordering of what matters most in your life that gives purpose. And here’s why. When you give thanks, it changes your attitude. Which changes you. Which changes your situation. Which changes your life. So give thanks when it’s the last thing you want to do – because that’s when you need to do it most!
Religious people can be petty, selfish and bigoted. Religious leaders do things that are embarrassing at best and scandalous at worst. Religious institutions act in ways that betray who they are. No wonder many people think, “If that’s what it means to be religious, I don’t want anything to do with it.” That’s where you come in. You can’t change religious people, leaders or institutions. But you can live with faith, integrity, compassion, grace, generosity, joy and hope – and let God use you to show others the difference God makes.
Some days it’s easy to be positive about your life. Other days it’s painfully difficult. So what do you do when your heart hurts, your faith struggles and you feel like you’re fighting just to make it through another day? Maybe you need to stop trying to do it all yourself and open your heart, mind, spirit and heart to God – whose grace is sufficient in all ways at all times for all things. And maybe, just maybe, you need to do this today.