In All Circumstances Give Thanks…
It’s easy to get caught up in complaining. Maybe it’s just me, but negativity tends to flow smoothly out of the caverns of my mouth. Most of the time I add a slight comedic twist to make it more acceptable, but if you shake it down it’ll easily be uncovered.
The complaints are no respecter of persons and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The weather and line lengths at the super market are the easy go-to’s. From there it can, and usually does, include misunderstandings at work, drivers on the highway and misinterpreted text messages sent from a family member. If my best friend were to count, I’m sure she’s received on average a dozen texts a day where I’m ranting and raving over one more injustice or one more way my life could be better. “IF ONLY…!!!”
Thankfulness on the other hand takes work.
I turn 30 in less than a month, and I’ve been dreading it since the day I turned 29. I guess I figured I’d be at a different place in life by this point. I’d be married, with kids and ministry would somehow be “easier”. With the milestone birthday getting closer and with none of those dreams “realized” my complaining and negativity were at an all-time high.
I haven’t managed to figure out how to stop or turn back time. The big 3-0 is coming if I like it or not. So, I decided the best way to enter my new year was to do it with thankfulness. It meant I would intentionally look for things to be thankful for– no matter how small or insignificant. I’d keep my eyes open to see the wonderful in the everyday. My ears no longer recording the wrongdoings of those around me, but taking note of the encouragement and kind words from strangers.
The Bible has a lot to say about thanksgiving. Funny thing, none of those verses have circumstantial clauses like “Be thankful, unless you lost your job, or you’ve got more bills than money coming in, or if you’re sick, etc.” Honestly, that’s how I’ve been living my life though. I’ve made the verse “I’ll enter His gates with thanksgiving…” conditionally based on how I’m feeling or what my hair looks like that day.
You see the beauty of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 is the phrase “IN ALL circumstances give thanks” not because of all circumstances or from all circumstances. The verse goes on to tell us why we should “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. Amazingly simple, but profoundly convicting– when I complain I’m actually going against God’s will for my life. And let’s be honest, His way is always better. Thanksgiving may not send you checks in the mail, but it will make you grateful for a free meal paid for by a friend. It may not bring me a husband, but it will help me be grateful that I only have to wash my own underwear for now.
Let this season help jump-start a renewed mindset for all of us. Instead being quick to count the disappointments of your day, shine light on the things that you’re thankful for knowing it all comes from His generosity and kindness.
Holly Hrywnak loves all things fall
–coffee, sweatshirts, apple picking, pumpkin pie and autumn leaves.
Her love languages range from physical touch to sarcasm and she places a high value on wit.
This past year Holly started a blog and it can be found at www.thecommonqueen.wordpress.com