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God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
Does everyone have Jesus to run to on a daily basis? I know that everyone has the opportunity to have Him in their life, but not everyone has made the choice. Some people are blinded to the truth by pain, suffering, discouragement, depression, oppression, fear, and bitterness among other things. Regardless of the reason, it’s all born from lies.
My Pastor is doing a series right now on “Is God Really Good?” It’s a great topic. I think most people who believe in God, don’t really consider the goodness of God. That it is inherent to His Being. They look at life and try to decipher what it says about God and His Goodness. There is this underlying perception that, God is good, but He does bad things and we just don’t understand them, but they must be good because God is good, but He does bad things and we just don’t understand them, but they must be good because… you see where this is going.
So, if we doubt God’s goodness, how thankful can we really be? How much confidence can we really walk in? Perhaps, you are reading this and you’re thinking, “I don’t doubt God’s goodness, exactly, I just don’t see how He’s good to me.”
A lot of the time, we can identify the goodness of God in the lives of others around us, but not in our own lives. If the goodness of God can only be identified in easily identifiable miracles or the external appearance of happiness in another person’s life, then we limit His goodness in our life. It’s not that He’s not good, it’s just that we don’t see things as goodness.
Here’s an example, let’s say that I feel like my husband never pays any attention to me. That he never does anything nice to me and I feel unloved. However, if I were to consider the fact that he makes and brings me a cup of coffee every morning because he loves me, then I might think differently. The issue is not whether or not my husband loves me, the issue is that I have grown so accustomed to his love and goodness to me, that I no longer identify it correctly. I think that there are many women who feel like this with their husbands and I think that there are many Christians who feel like this with God.
Each day, most of us have food to eat and a home to return to. Each day, most of us have clean clothes to wear and our children are being educated. Each day, all of us wake up to a brand new day and a brand new opportunity to connect with a God that loves us dearly , even when we do not choose Him.
Appreciation Takes Practice
If you are reading this today and cannot think of anything to be thankful for, I mean, really thankful for, not just the shrug paired with an obligatory fake smile and a flat “Thanks, God.”, then you must simply be out of practice. You may even feel like clicking the “X” button at the top of this window because I’m annoying you now, but I ask that you finish reading and give thanks a chance!
While writing this post, I saw this great quote, “It is not happy people that are thankful. It is thankful people that are happy.” I believe that regardless of your position on the goodness of God or even your belief in Him, this is true for everyone. Happiness is the byproduct of thankfulness, not the other way around. You may doubt it at first blush, but when you consider all of the individuals you have crossed paths with in life, you will find that in every case, the happiest people, regardless of financial stability and material means, were the most thankful for what they did have.
I have known people that have wanted for nothing, who came and went as they pleased, bought what they desired, needs were not even an issue, and yet, they were not happy. If we are not careful, we can become much the same, though, we feel more justified because perhaps not all of our “needs” are being met. Somehow, life in America has evolved much like the car industry; most of the “options” from years past are now standard. Heating and Air Conditioning, convenient, but is it necessary to drive? The dome light seems like and absolute necessity, but is it? The list of vehicle upgrades that have become expected goes on and on.
We treat life much the same way. Annual vacations? Necessary. A vehicle for every person over the age of 16? Necessary. Simply having T.V. is not adequate, we must have cable, streaming video, DVD players, blue ray, video gaming systems, picture in picture, DVR, surround sound. I’m not saying any of this is bad, but when the bar is raised so high that luxuries become necessities, how can we be truly thankful? Practice, we must practice being thankful. It may not be easy at first and we might even have to really stretch our imagination, but we all have something for which to be thankful.
Just Do It
Don’t let it join the other well intentioned changes on your to-do list, like going to the gym or eating healthier or spending less time on the internet; start today. It doesn’t even require much of your time, just a few moments of each day, make it a point to think of something that you have to be truly thankful for.
I am thankful for breathing. I think that breathing is awesome. I am especially thankful that I don’t have any health conditions or sensitivities that might try my breathing. It’s reasonably amazing that I can breathe while I’m sleeping; it’s nice to not worry about whether or not my body will forget while I am peacefully in dreamland.
Breathing, it’s simple and unless you have an issue with it, becomes overlooked.
I, too, will be practicing my thankfulness this month, but perhaps in a more wordy (like fifty-thousand-words wordy) fashion.
Start now! Take a moment to document one meaningful aspect of your life you are thankful for. Like a beating heart, those are handy. Give it a shot, it feels good and it gets easier. I promise.
Word Count This Blog: 1,202
Word Count Total: 3,835