Thursday, November 27, 2014

Change How You Look at Being Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! For today's blog post, I was hoping to share with you a bunch of responses from my Facebook friends on what they are thankful for this year. Instead, I only got two responses to my Facebook post:

"Thankful for the health of my family and a fun work environment!"

"My family. Don't know where I'd be without them!"

(Great responses, by the way!!)

At first I thought, "Well, maybe people aren't thankful for anything this year!!" Then I thought, "Well, maybe people are having a hard time feeling thankful due to certain circumstances in their lives." We all go through hard times. Some of those hard times are longer than others, and it can be difficult to find the good.

But I recently read something online that made me change the way I look at being thankful. No matter what is happening in our lives, we can always be thankful that God is near. This post from Relevant magazine is all about about redefining gratitude and it totally spoke to me:
Most of us have been there. Sometimes, when I was down about things, someone would say, “Be thankful. There are so many people who are worse off.” I know it was well intended, but it made me feel guilty and ashamed, so I hid those parts of me that suffered. 
That doesn’t sit right with me anymore. In my journey to heal, I’m experiencing a new freedom and intimacy with God that comes from confiding in my wounds and fears. 
I don’t think God wants to guilt us into feeling better about our struggles because others are suffering more. 
Jesus didn’t say to the blind man, “Be thankful you can walk.” Jesus had compassion for each person’s plight and condition, never comparing.
If you're feeling sad or scared about something, but you don't feel like anyone around you understands, you can be thankful that Jesus lets you feel those emotions. You can be thankful that Jesus loves every part of you, even those parts that are sad and broken. You can be thankful that you can always turn to Jesus to carry you through the hard times, no matter how long it takes you to get through them.

Hopefully reading that article will change the way you think about "thankfulness" and realize that you do have some things to be thankful for.

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