Last Thursday, we were blessed with another beautiful Thanksgiving which, for a lot of us, was filled with family, food and fun! The morning of Thanksgiving, I received my daily devotional from Our Daily Bread which was entitled, "Game of Thanks." I thought it was going to be the typical "give thanks on today because it's Thanksgiving" devotional, so I only skimmed through it. However, this quote from the devotional caught my attention and prompted me to read the entire email: "While there will always be things to complain about, if we look carefully there are always blessings to be thankful for."
It made me think about how easy we are to complain, but how often we forget to give thanks. I will admit that I can probably name a million things to complain about right now. Seriously. My hair is becoming too hard to tame. My neck is killing me. Racism is alive and well. The lady at McDonald's had an extremely bad attitude...at 9 a.m. this morning. Trump is the new president-elect...like, why? America is stupid. Georgia State's financial aid office is beyond rude. The list goes on...you nameeeeee it (in my Shirley Caesar voice).
However, there are way more things to be thankful for than to complain about.
Let's discuss the fact that you woke up this morning and have the ability to read this blog post when so many others don't. That's HUGE. Yet, we take "small things" like this for granted. We have tons of blessings that we leave unacknowledged because it's just easier to go through the day without saying "thank you God." I am not saying we absolutely have to say "thank you" every time something happens throughout the day, like: "thank you God for allowing my pen to write, oh and thank you God for allowing me to pick up that piece of paper to write on. Almost forgot, thank you God for allowing the comb to run through my hair this morning." However, at the end of the day, take time to reflect on those things and give thanks to Him for EVERYTHING. Also, remember that it may seem small to you, but someone in the world was not fortunate enough to receive that blessing. It's also okay to admit to Him that you may not be able to remember every single detail of the day, but you thank Him anyway for everything that He has done.
I think another thing we probably all struggle with is finding the blessings in the things we complain about.
For example, I said that I complain about my hair being a little difficult to manage now (natural hair probs), but hey, my hair is healthy and thick. There are so many people who suffer from cancer, alopecia areata and many other diseases that cause them to lose all of their hair. See how I turned this around? I know it seems dramatic to say, "I should stop complaining about detangling my hair because I could've had cancer, but God blocked it," BUT y'all...I COULD'VE HAD CANCER, BUT GOD BLOCKED IT. Those things that seem so far from our lives are actually a lot closer than we think - we're not invincible, so we should thank God for the way our life is rather than complaining all the time.
Living a life of gratitude brings peace and joy to our hectic lives.
It calms me to think about the goodness of the Lord instead of thinking about life's twists and turns. It's also important to express our thanks to others. A simple "thank you" is a small act that can go a long way. Whether someone saves our life or simply allows us to get in front of them in a grocery store line, we should let them know we are thankful for their kindness. Once we grasp that no blessing is small and that God doesn't have to do the things He does in our lives, we will become a lot more thankful!
"Lord, teach me the liberating joy of being thankful! Help me to find the blessings that are locked up in the things I complain about and to regularly express my gratitude to You and others. Amen."
-Prayer from Our Daily Bread
I know this sounds cheesy, but comment below and tell me some things that you are thankful for (the typical "go around the table and share what you're thankful for" at Thanksgiving dinner, haha).