A few years ago, on this very blog, I wrote for thirty days on the topic of gratitude. It was the month of November, after all, that’s just what we do during that month here in America. So, this year, when I began planning my next devotional and I was gravitating toward the topic of gratitude, I immediately assumed that this had to be published in November. But the longer I thought and prayed about this, the more I realized just how faulty that thinking is.
Gratitude is not reserved for November.
It should be a lifestyle.
As Christians, we have so much to be grateful for, but that doesn’t make the pang of life’s difficulties any less painful. We are all complex people with varied emotions that are all valid. Each of us is experiencing something a little different that can and does color our responses. Recently, I was talking with a friend about this and were amazed at the varied reactions that we see from our friends, family, and those on social media.
In this season, many people are intentionally seeking the Lord and crying out to him. There’s an increased dependence upon him and a deeper understanding of his goodness.
Some people are going through hell right now, having lost loved ones, jobs, and more all because of this global phenomenon. How can they find something to be grateful for?
Others are looking at the lives of those around them and the horror happening all across the world and are overwhelmed with gratitude that things aren’t as bad for them.
Because of our faith in Christ, even in the bleakest of times, we can still be grateful because we know who God is and who we are. We understand that he has done the impossible and taken us from darkness and into the light. We are no longer at odds with God, but are welcomed in as part of his family. We have been chosen and adopted, we are loved and cherished, and we are protected and provided for.
I’m not saying that we just need to pretend as though nothing bad is happening, in fact, I believe just the opposite. If we have experienced loss, we should grieve. If we are in the midst of hardship, we shouldn’t pretend as though everything’s perfect.
Even in the midst of the difficulties—the trauma, the struggle, the grief, the fear—God is still God. Because we are his and he is ours we can move past superficial gratitude that we express when things “feel good” and make thankfulness the throughline of our lives. If we try to do this on our own, focusing on our own goodness, it will fall flat every time. But, when we understand who he is and all that he has done, continues to do, and will do for us, I think we can’t help but be grateful.
All of us are feeling and experiencing different emotions and problems. Each nation and state is at a different point in the process of responding to this global health issue, which means that many of our lives look different right now. And yet, no matter where we fall on life’s spectrum, I believe that we each have something to be grateful for. Even now. Even today.
Let’s not wait for the “perfect day” to express our gratitude to God; let’s start today!
How have you been responding to recent events?
What are you grateful for today?
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