Today, with a heart full of thanks, I want to share on thankfulness. After writing a 4 week series on motherhood, and being thankful for the legacy I was left, and the living legacy that goes on before me, I got to celebrate Mother’s Day. Not being in proximity to all those I love, but loved by all those that are near and dear to my heart, through their words, cards, gifts, phone calls, FaceTime, pictures and memories that will all stay in my heart forever, I find myself THANKFUL!
Thankfulness seems like a simple and possibly obvious topic. But truthfully, I find myself, and maybe you do too, leaning toward grumbling and complaining far more often than I find myself leaning toward thankfulness. My Grandma, whom I have shared about in detail, loved to sing, as I’m sure you remember by now. One of her favorite hymns was “Count Your Blessings.” The words scroll across my memory in the exact tune she used to sing it to me, in her sweet, high soprano voice.
“Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one…count your many blessings, see what God has done!”
I hear those words in my mind each time that the grumbling and complaining comes. I know I should count my blessings. I know I have more to be thankful for than I do to complain about. Yet I often push that sweet voice out of my head, and give in to the grumpy mood that ensues with my grumbling and complaining attitude. If the words from my grandmother aren’t enough, maybe the words from a song will be. It’s from one of my favorite movies, which occurs during my favorite time of year—Christmas—which occurs during my favorite season of the year—Winter—the Irving Berlin classic “White Christmas.” In this song Bing Crosby croons to young Rosemary Clooney as he tries to win over her heart: “When I’m worried, and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings, instead of sheep…and I fall asleep, counting my blessings.”
How many sleepless nights have we had? How many needed hours of rest have we wasted, by worrying instead of being thankful?
If the words of my dear sweet Grammie and the famous words of Bing Crosby can’t sway me to focus on a heart full of thanks, then my only hope is to turn to my God, where I should always look first anyway!
Let’s do a Bible word search together on “thankful.”
I Thessalonians 5:18 (thanks, or give thanks): “…Give thanks in ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Colossians 2:7: “…Rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Ephesians 5:20: “…Always giving thanks to God the Father for EVERYTHING in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Colossians 3:15 draws a direct connection to being thankful and having peace. Here within lies the answer to the end of our sleepless nights. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace, and BE THANKFUL.”.
It is something we must DO. It’s an action. Being is not just sitting on the couch, and feeling sorry for myself. It’s not focusing on what I do not have, or what I wish I had, or what I wish I did not have in my life! No! It is a sense of being. It is who I choose to be, and how I choose to act. It is something I must DO. I am not to just give thanks, but I am to actually be thankful. It calls us to a state of being.
What is our first reaction when something goes wrong? Are we quick to get angry or complain or grumble? I can be the first one to have this kind of attitude. So how do I curb it? How do I “be” or “become” the thankful, peaceful person that God says I can be?
Colossians 4:2 gives us the answer. “Devote yourselves to prayer, BEING WATCHFUL, [WAITING AND LOOKING FOR GOD TO MOVE], AND THANKFUL [ACTING ON WHAT YOU ARE ASKING FOR, BY BEING THANKFUL!].”
And then, the ultimate reason that we are thankful: the ultimate reason I can always have a heart of thankfulness and an innermost being that is thankful at my core: is the truth that is in Hebrews 12:28. This is my truth, and it is also your truth!
“Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, [by anything that happens to me here on earth], let us BE THANKFUL and so worship God acceptably, with reverence and awe.”
Truth Bomb: Every day, regardless of our circumstances, we can give thanks for our assured eternal hope that we have in Christ.
Let’s share our thanks together and start a habit of thankfulness. Statistics tell us that anything repeated over and over becomes a habit. I have a habit of drinking delicious strong roasted coffee every day. What if every time I tipped that cup of steaming hot deliciousness to my lips, before I let the flavor settle on my taste buds, I would “be a person who lifts a word of thanks before I took that sip?”
So let’s practice it together this week. In the comments section, write something, or more than one thing, that you are thankful for. No wrong answer here! Share it from your heart. Do not overthink it or worry about someone else’s response. Just give thanks! Be thankful! We’ll do it together!
Speak Truth Love