“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.”
Psalms 69:30 ESV
Despite my mutual respect and appreciation for both holidays, my sister has been recently complaining that I have skipped Thanksgiving and gone straight on to Christmas -and now that I’ve thought of it, she’s absolutely right. Over the course of the past week, I have already decorated a Christmas tree, gone shopping for Secret Santa and have sung along to at least 20 of my favorite Christmas tunes.
Now, it’s not that there is anything inherently wrong with these things. However, perhaps I’ve skipped over something of equal, if not greater importance. That being said, I am writing this post to shift the focus while sharing a few of the practically innumerable blessings for which I (and we) can be truly thankful.
Ah Thanksgiving…that one special day of the year which many commemorate as the day on which we give thanks for all of the things we have received or have been privileged to experience throughout our lives. I realize this may come off a bit cliche, but in all honesty, we should be thankful for something every day. And I know life is not perfect, trust me, if I wanted to wallow in self-pity I could, though for what benefit?
Here’s a bit about my youth. I was an angsty teenager due to a few difficult experiences from my formative years. I thought the world was out to get me and that everyone was else was bad. But looking back at it now, all that time I spent wallowing was time wasted.
I am constantly telling those younger than myself that holding grudges is not going to help anyone and neither is complaining. Rather, we ought to look at all the good things we have in our lives and be thankful. This is something that can only come by wisdom. To help you on your journey of thankfulness, here are five simple things we can choose to be appreciative for on a daily basis.
“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!”
Psalms 95:2 ESV
The very fact that we can breathe at this moment is something to be extremely thankful for. In addition to this, not only do we partake in the gift of life but we have also been given the privilege of being apart of so grand a creation. We can look around and see many other things from living creatures to breathtaking landscapes, soaring heights to fathomless valleys. Every day that we wake up is a day we ought to be thankful for.
Loved ones, whether related by blood or not (because I know blood-relatives aren’t always the most loving or understanding). God has sovereignly placed so many people around us to help us out during hard times and celebrate the good times with us. Personally, I have a small circle of friends and tend to spend most of my time with, either, them or my immediate family. These are the people who are there for me always. They are also the people with whom I share the most memories. They’ve helped me become who I am today (apart from Christ of course) and I am always thankful for them.
3. Our Jobs
This one can be tricky as we do not all have ideal circumstances with regard to work. Some of us have bossy and insensitive employers while others may have idle and unengaging employers. The micromanagers verses the absentees. Many may argue that an absentee boss is actually a good thing but is that necessarily true if the staff suffers as a result of poor leadership and misdirection? Regardless of our work situation, if we have a job we should be grateful that God has provided it for us and we should work as if we were working onto God because at the end of the day, we kinda’ are. May everything we do glorify God and that includes the attitude we have toward our present employment situation. May we be grateful for it no matter the circumstances because God uses it as a means to provide for us.
4. The Seasons
“Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall…” If you are a true fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender, I’m sure you can’t hear that last sentence without hearing it sung by Uncle Iro. However, I am personally not a fan of winter. I merely tolerate it until it goes away. Yet, whenever I complain my husband makes sure to remind me that God created all seasons, therefore, all seasons are good. And he is right. I may have a preference for warmer weather but if we look at all the seasons we can find something, both, beautiful and integral in each one. Snowflakes, blooming flowers, the radiance of the sun and color-changing foliage are well-known characteristics of each. I am increasingly learning to appreciate every season for what it is and being thankful that I can experience them in their beauty.
5. Christ’s Work in the Lives of His Redeemed
Of all the things on this relatively short list, this one tops the bill. What an amazing thought that our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, came to earth, lived a sinless and perfect life and then died and rose again to pay for our sins. Yet this thought is not so simple. In fact, the reality that Christ came to pay for our sins, and what that cost Him, is extremely complex. The very life of Christ is something to be marveled at. He lived life as a human being, with all that entails, yet completely without sin so that we can obtain righteousness through him.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
1 Cor 5:21. Isn’t that amazing?!
Take a second right now and just meditate on that. This is something we ought to intently consider daily. We need to preach the gospel (the good news) to ourselves daily and in light of that gospel, giving thanks for everything else will prove relatively easy and effortless.
6. The Interwebs
Listen, I know I said there’d be only be five, However, as our constitution’s history can confirm, some rules are meant to be amended and this one definitely deserves a shoutout. The internet (hereinafter referred to as the “Interwebs” by me) is a blessing. Setting aside its ambiguity and destructive potential, without it, you wouldn’t be able to read this post right now. In fact, without the interwebs, there would be no Journey with Ang or at least not in this form.
I hope this post will help you to look at the simple things in life and feel gratitude toward God for everything that He provides and permits us to experience.
“Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!”
Psalms 97:12 ESV
SDG (“Soli Deo Gloria”)