An attitude of gratitude

by chuckofish

givethanks

It being November again (!) it seems liked a good time to talk about thankfulness. “Nothing,” says Billy Graham “turns us into bitter, selfish, dissatisfied people more quickly than an ungrateful heart. And nothing will do more to restore contentment and the joy of our salvation than a true spirit of thankfulness.”

I have been re-reading Jan Karon’s seventh Mitford book In This Mountain and this is one of her main themes. Toward the end of the book, Father Tim preaches on this very subject (and I Thessalonians 5:18).

I admit to you that although I often thank God for my blessings, even the smallest, I haven’t thanked Him for my afflictions.

I know the fifth chapter of First Thessalonians pretty well, yet it just hadn’t occurred to me to actually take Him up on this notion. I’ve been too busy begging Him to lead me out of the valley and onto the mountaintop. After all, I have work to do, I have things to accomplish…alas, I am the White Rabbit everlastingly running down the hole like the rest of the common horde.

I want to tell you that I started thanking Him last night–this morning at two o’clock, to be precise–for something that grieves me deeply. And I’m committed to continue thanking Him in this hard thing, no matter how desperate it might become, and I’m going to begin looking for good in it. Whether God caused it or permitted it, we can rest assured–there is great good in it.

So no matter what happens to us, no matter how difficult our situation or how much our friends disappoint us, no matter how alone we feel–we must never forget that God is with us. No matter what happens, God has promised that He will be with us in whatever tribulation or trial that comes. God will not waste this experience. He doesn’t waste anything. And so we are thankful for everything. We try to be anyway.

Nobody said it would be easy, right?