How can we plant seeds of gratitude and cultivate a spirit of thanksgiving throughout each and every day, all year long?
We are encouraged from the Scriptures to give thanks in everything. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us, “In everything, give thanks - for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Thankfulness can arise in difficult situations
Everything? Even COVID-19? Give thanks for illness and loss and difficult circumstances? Oh, no, friends, that’s not what the verse tells us. Look at that one little, tiny, first word – in.
In everything, give thanks. God does not ask the impossible of us. He is not telling us to be thankful for everything. His words are pointing us in the direction of being thankful “in” the midst of it all.
While we are not thankful for COVID-19, we can be thankful for the help from family and friends, errands run by friends, and for the presence God’s comfort. We can be thankful for prayer, medicine, the colorful sunrise of a new day and the good care of a kind nurse.
Thankfulness is a habit that needs to be nurtured
When we practice being thankful in everything, before you know it, you will not need this printed challenge to be grateful. You will have carefully and thoughtfully planted a lush garden of gratitude, from which you may harvest the fruit of joy, contentment and appreciation for the little things.
Practicing gratitude takes practice. It is a habit that can be nurtured and developed, but you will have to put a bit of effort into it.
Perhaps, each night when you lay your head on your pillow, take a moment to consciously name something, just one thing, for which you are grateful. Even the simplest of things, find it, and be thankful.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” –Psalm 118:1
Written by Phil Elmore, director of hospitality for Buckner Retirement Services.