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It’s good that this country sets aside an entire day to reflect on the things that we are most grateful for, because I’m sure we just don’t do it enough – as an individual, as a family member, as a Christian, as a free man or woman living in the USA. But often the hustle and bustle of the busy holidays - hey we have turkeys to brine, potatoes to mash and there’s always Black Friday to prepare for (and believe me when I say you have to prepare!) – not to mention the stress of the upcoming Christmas season. What with the shopping lists and parties to plan and the perfect outfit that needs to be bought….we don’t really have the time to be grateful right now. I have to get my pies in the oven!
But what better time? When we are stressed and feeling chaotic, it’s when we need to feel Him in our lives the most. When we need to reach out and ask him to rest our busy hearts and spirits. Psalm 46:10 says to “Be still and know that I am God…”. Take the time. Take the time to just sit. Sit and listen. Not to the kids fighting or your text message coming in…but to the gentle stillness of God’s presence around you. Go in the bathroom, lock the door and turn off the light if you have to. It’s worth it. It will fill you with a peace like you have never known before.
And then in that moment, just be grateful. Just be grateful. Is your life perfect? Doubtful. It’s your finances, or your marriage, or the test results or the little things – Bobby’s grades aren’t what you would like, you can’t afford a new washer, and seriously do I have to spend $300 AND stand in line for an Xbox Kinect? (No, just say no!) .The point is, and granted it’s a simple one, be thankful for all the blessings you have received in your life. It’s not hard to do. Webster says to be grateful is to be “appreciative of benefits received.” Whatever the benefits – blessings - in your life – and I’m guessing there’s a lot if you sit and think about it, be thankful for them. Write them down if you have to. It’s an exercise we do with the kids in the Ministry every year at this time when we teach them about contentment – be thankful for what you have and don’t focus on what you don’t have. Same goes for you! Just be grateful.