– 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Sometimes Thanksgiving isn’t the obviously-joyful day it we feel it should be. Maybe you are one of those who have difficult or painful memories of past Thanksgiving feasts that became unhappy or chaotic instead of pleasant. I certainly can attest to being there more than one time in my life! For those who struggle with addictions, Thanksgiving can become a gauntlet of temptations to overeat, drink or relapse into other hurtful behaviors. Just being far away from family or in stressful situations can put a damper on Thanksgiving festivities.
What if you have nothing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving?
After all the practical steps we’ve taken to make our lives Fresh, healthy and whole there are still lots of things we don’t have control over. A family member’s resentment. Loss of a job. A too-early death. Violent storms. Miles that separate loved ones.
Yet, we’re ALL directed to give thanks in EVERTYHING. How can we do this on less-than happy Thanksgivings? Can we thank God for the hard things while we’re grieving or struggling?
Let’s start by listing a few things we all have to be thankful for no matter our circumstances
1. Right now, we can know what God’s will is for us, today!
Hang with me for a minute, I’m serious. Right now we are asked to give thanks in everything. At least we don’t have to worry about how God would like us to approach EVERYTHING…with thanksgiving.
2. God cares deeply about us and every moment of our lives.
When He asks us to give thanks in every thing, it isn’t without knowing that many of our moments will be difficult. He assures us “I am with you ALWAYS”. We aren’t asked to do this all alone.
Since we are not alone and we know God is asking us to give thanks…how can we really?
Consider this exercise:
A favorite Action Step of mine is a “Blessing Bucket” where throughout Thanksgiving day and on into the coming year, I keep a bucket, a few slips of paper and a pen so my family and I can jot down the happy happenings as they happen. But for many of my coaching clients this can be a pretty big task when they’re struggling. So here is what I suggest; start with just three things even if you start with a ‘But for the grace of God’ list.
On my worst day, in my worst mood I can always thank God for saving me from an even more terrible fate than what I’m going through.
The strangest thing happens though, once I begin I can never stop at those “But for the grace of God” times of gratitude. Soon I’m remembering those times He was present, even in the midst of my frustrations or heartbreak…and… As mad and grief stricken as I was a few moments before, suddenly I can’t stop thinking of His many blessings even when what is currently happening around me is full of turmoil.
So, if this is you this Thanksgiving… If you’re struggling to find something to truly be grateful for, won’t you join us in starting a ‘be thankful in EVERYthing’ movement?
Leave a comment here or jump to our Facebook page where we will celebrate each ‘thankful’ message you send us, no matter how small. I totally understand if it’s a tough day for you and I pray you can discover something to share with us even then, maybe especially then! If it’s a joyful day for you, as I truly hope it is, we’d love to hear about your blessings as well!