What are you thankful for?
This is the week we celebrate Thanksgiving, so I'm sure you've heard this question a lot lately, but stop for a minute and think about it. What are you truly thankful for? Family? Friends? Good food? A roof over your head and material possessions around you? Perhaps you are thankful for a good job to earn income for your family. Recently, I asked a group of children this question and I got various answers from favorite toys, to pets, to "the whole world!" All of these things are good things to be thankful for, but I think we need to dig a little deeper!
Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated in our culture and it is very worthwhile! Studies show that gratitude improves our overall health in many different ways from improved sleep to better self-esteem. However, if we are not careful, we can let our culture's interpretation of this holiday lull us into a surface level attitude of gratitude. I think we need to dig a little deeper!
I don't want to live a surface level life! I don't want to just go through the motions, not in every day life, and not in this holiday season! I don't want to be lulled into a watered-down version of gratitude! I want to dig deeper!
You see, there is a God who created me! There is a God who has extended mercy to me when I didn't deserve it! There is a God who has blessed me beyond measure! There is a God who saw me, loved me, and called me to be His child! There is a God who sent His son, Jesus, to die in my place for all the wrong that I have done! There is a God who didn't want me to stay lost and alone, He reached down His hand and rescued me! These acts deserve, not a surface level, generic, "attitude of gratitude", but rather a sincere and heartfelt expression of thankfulness to God who saved me! This is personal because God made is personal!
I challenge you this week to dig deeper! Don't settle for surface level gratitude. Get personal with the God who loves you! The Great I Am who was and is and is to come! Thank God for His hand at work in your life! Be specific! Allow the magnitude of God's greatest gift to you, salvation offered through the sacrifice of Jesus, wash over you in a fresh way this week! Remember the many times God has acted in your life and S T O P to praise God! Tell the story of God's faithfulness in your life to those around you!
When someone asks you to share what you are thankful for this week, shock them by refusing to settle for the status quo. Right there, in that moment, thank God for His hand at work in your life in a specific way! Then, watch what God can do with a person who digs deeper!