personally, and unfortunately, that last one is normally where my thoughts run. the people in my life "just know" that i'm thankful for them, right? i don't have to tell them if i'm just subconsciously thinking that i'm thankful, right? and definitely God just knows, right? or am i telling them? no, sometimes i don't. sometimes i get busy. sometimes i plain and simply forget. or give them a simple "thanks!" or if i'm a little more enthusiastic, sometimes "hey, thanks!" and sometimes....sometimes more often than not.....i don't even think about it.
there's a post on facebook that i see every once in a while, which is a good reminder to give thanks for all things. each and every day! it goes something like this: "what if you woke up this morning with only the things you gave thanks for yesterday?" wow! sure makes me think. and makes me realize that i really wouldn't have much. i certainly wouldn't have many people in my life. it's not very often that i actually give thanks for them. not necessarily TO them, but FOR them. and most days i don't even give thanks for my son. i used to. every morning and every night. up until he was about 6 months old. then just as quickly as i started, i stopped. for no particular reason.
BUT i want to be the type of person who gives thanks. FOR everything. IN everything. every second of every day. not just the good things and not just the answered prayers. i want to be thankful for those things that God has seen fit NOT to give me. He knows best and who am i to question His knowledge and wisdom? i certainly don't have a very good track record for determining what is best for me, that's for sure.
why don't we think of being thankful more often than once or twice a year, and only because there is a day that has the word "thanks" attached to it? why do we always need reminders? why don't we just have thankfulness in our hearts and on our minds every second of every day? why, as the richest nation on earth, the free-est nation on earth, do we always want more? to HAVE more? to DO more? to SEE more? to BE more?
i'll tell you why....we're human and incapable of what it takes to always be thankful. i know, i know, you're telling me "but i AM thankful EVERY day for EVERY thing." really? so what you're saying is that you're thankful when that guy cut you off in traffic, for the third time in the last 2 miles? that you're thankful when that certain child constantly whines or throws a fit in the middle of the grocery aisle at walmart? that you're thankful when a drunk driver kills your spouse? that you're thankful when the judge determines that your ex-spouse gets full custody of your child, and you only get to see him during school breaks? that you're thankful when your mom gets cancer? that you're thankful when your best friend dies in an auto accident that wasn't her fault? really? i know i wouldn't be.
but isn't it a command of God to be? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says: "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." and what i see is "in everything". it doesn't say, "in everything.....(dot dot dot)" or "in just the good things" or "in everything that goes your way." it says "in EVERYTHING"....period. how is this possible? can it really be done? can we really be thankful "in everything"?
God's Word commands us to, and i doubt God would command it if it were impossible. besides, there's something in His Word that tells me that it IS possible to give thanks in everything. check out Matthew 19:26. and Mark 10:27. and Luke 18:27. if God says it THREE times, wouldn't you think that maybe He wants to make a point? or at least get you to understand that He means business? "the things which are impossible with men are possible with God."
but the question still stands....how?
the key point here is "with God". yes, WITH God. not WITHOUT Him.
and here is another key point: "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." (1 John 5:14-15) it seems to me that asking God to help us to be thankful is "according to His will", doesn't it to you? and if you're still not convinced, try the amplified version of it: "And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. and if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him." that's pretty sure, if you ask me...."we are sure" and "positively" and "with settled and absolute knowledge". yep, fairly sure.
one other key point when asking, and when you're not sure whether it's really His will. being thankful IS His will. at least 1 Thes 5 says it is: "for this is the will of God".....good enough for me. if it says specifically in His Word "for this is the will of God", you can be definitely, positively, absolutely, without a doubt certain that it is! can't get any clearer than that.
so that is HOW. ask. receive. give thanks. simple right?
all that being said, i am so very thankful for every one of you, whether you are my son, family, a friend, an acquaintence, a follower, a fan, a customer, or just someone passing by. God has a good plan for you. you are the apple of His eye. THAT right there is something to be thankful for!
and i am!