Lately I have found myself trying to be very intentional in my prayer life about being grateful. And now that I’m typing it out, it sounds crazy! Why in the world would you have to TRY to be thankful for good things?? So often we run to God when our world is crashing down around us, if we need a prayer answered, or if there is a relationship in peril. But think about it – do you willingly run to Him the same way when things are going pretty well?
I once saw something on social media that asked the question “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?” This has always convicted me, because as much as I hate to say it, there are so many times that I don’t thank God for all He has blessed me with. Right now I am in an incredible season of life, and I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy. Not at all to say everything in my life is perfect, or there aren’t areas that I am trying to improve, but I’m choosing to focus on the immense blessings instead of life’s imperfections. And really, why don’t we always do that? Sure there’s always going to be something to complain about or something that goes wrong; but how much happier would you be if you intentionally chose to focus more of the positive? In the past couple months God has come through in some HUGE ways and answered big prayers for me, some that I’ve been praying over for years and at some points never knew if an answer would come. Ephesians 5:20 calls us to not only be thankful for everything but to always give thanks – in good times and bad!
Someone indescribably dear to me is going through a situation that I went through, not even 7 months ago. It brings to the forefront how far I’ve come in that small span of time – and how I should offer nothing but gratitude and praise to God, because He’s the only reason any of this is happening. My boyfriend is starting his first full time career-based job, having to move to a new city, and start a new foundation somewhere else. I remember how completely encumbered by anxiety and fear I was when that was me, and it may not have been until recently that I discovered why God brought me here, but there was a reason – and soon he will find his reason for this new life change. I think about all the time I spent cowered in fear and thinking about all the “What if’s” that were nothing more than a waste of time. I think of all the opportunities I may have missed to witness to someone or be a part of something, because I was too blinded by my own insecurities to just let go and let God lead me. Philippians 4:6 is one of those verses that keeps coming around to me and it simply says “Do not be anxious about ANYTHING, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God. ” If I had just given that up the moment I knew it was happening and just trusted that His plan will ALWAYS blow mine out of the water and be better than I possibly could have imagined, I bet some other life changing moments could have happened.
These days I find myself daydreaming about all the great things going on right now, and I want to savor every moment. We’ve all had those moments when there is seemingly no good to be found in any direction, and those moments make these grateful ones so much sweeter. You praise and seek God in those dark moments, so how much more should we thank Him for providing the ones where we feel on top of the world? Don’t miss moments being wrapped up in unnecessary worry…God already knows what is going to happen. And trust me – it’s going to be so far beyond your imagination and expectations that you’ll wonder why you ever tried to do it on your own in the first place.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thes 5:18