What if I told you that you would only have the things you thanked God for today? What would you have thanked God for? Spouse? Kids? Things? Freedom? That simple statement has changed what I thank God for on a daily basis.
The Bible tells us to give thanks to God in all circumstances. Sometimes that is a whole lot easier said than done! Ever tried it when the chips are down? If you’re able to truly be thankful in all circumstances you’re a much better person than I! But I’m learning. If I’ve learned anything about God in my life, it is that He is more than willing to give us opportunities to trust Him in all circumstances, and we are to be thankful while He is working out the details.
There was a time in my life when I decided that I was done trusting God to work out the details, and consequently my attitude of gratitude took a nosedive. I stopped talking to Him, reading scriptures; basically checked out of my relationship with God.
Several things had happened in my life, most of which were not positive or pleasant, and I contributed to the mess that had become my life by making some pretty bad decisions.
Then one day while I was driving to work I decided to give the whole “attitude of gratitude” thing a whirl. Couldn’t hurt, might help, I reasoned. I grudgingly told God that I was going to start talking to Him again, and that I would ONLY be thanking Him; this was a test for the Almighty! I had read that blessings started with gratitude. Fortunately He is a patient God and didn’t strike me dead in my car seat!
Over time I noticed that my attitude was changing toward the negatives in my life, toward people, toward God. I saw the blessings in my life, the provisions God had provided in the midst of difficult situations. And the negativity was losing its grip on me.
Gratitude is a choice that only we can make. Isn’t everything? The Bible aside, science has proven that an attitude of gratitude has multiple benefits. Gratitude affects every aspect of our being and lives. We live longer, sleep better, are more optimistic, are more likely to exercise, manage our time better, are less materialistic, lessens physical pain, deepens our relationships, lowers our blood pressure, makes us less self-centered, increases our spirituality, and generally makes us a kinder, gentler human being. And it’s so simple, doesn’t cost us a cent! The only thing required of us is to start a list of everything we are grateful for.
Not into prayer? Start a Gratitude Journal. Each day on my way to work I just start thanking God; it usually starts with my car. That’s right, I thank God that my car starts, that it runs well, the tires are good, that it gets me where I am going, and then I go on from there. The sunrise, the beauty of the day, our kids, my husband, our family and friends, our pets, our jobs, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, our house, heat in winter and cool in the summer, that our bills are paid, health, whatever comes to mind.
And it makes me think about all the people and things we take for granted. What if we woke up one day and none of the people or things we take for granted were here?
What are you grateful for today?