"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every circumstance, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Today is Thanksgiving. It happens every year. It easily is the same tradition over and over and it ends up losing its meaning. However, it is an opportunity, if taken, to reflect on what it means to be thankful, to whom, and for what.
For believers, we are to be thankful to God, in all things, at all times. Great! This is what we should do but admittedly, we spend most of our time being anxious about everything and demanding of God what we want. Most of the time we do not go to Him with thanksgiving, and it feels unbearably difficult to be thankful. It feels this way, because when we seek things on our terms and expect life to work out our way we end up going back to the same miserable places we always go.
In the times of abundance, we often check the box and say a simple thanks or we do nothing at all because we feel we are the reason the good things happened to us. We think that naturally, this is how things are supposed to be. We treat God as a means to our ends and if that were the case why would we give thanks?
Likewise, in the times that everything seems to be falling apart, how are we to be thankful when God seems to have abandoned us? We kick and scream, throwing tantrums because we believe it is not fair we are being treated this way. The more unthankful we get, the more miserable we get, and everything spirals down from there until we hit the bottom.
What is the solution? Seek God first and then only then, will everything else we need follow including the ability to be thankful. While it is difficult beyond belief, when we seek Him first, He provides us everything we need and more and we are able to be truly thankful.
How are we to give thanks? As David put it, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of your wonderful deeds.” – Psalm 9:1