Tomorrow is the day we are supposed to be thankful. We go to great lengths to prepare the turkey just right, dish up more side dishes to eat than is humanly possible to actually consume all at once, and lay a spread of desserts to tempt a king!
Thanksgiving. A day of giving thanks. A moment frozen in time to focus on being grateful.
But why is it on this day, almost without fail, I’m tempted to complain?
But even among the circumstances, the exhaustion, and stress, I am so very, very grateful for the grace to be a child of the King. I’m grateful that I get to worship in freedom. I’m grateful that I have a business to grow and food to eat. I’m grateful for chubby hands that smear my leg with bananas and boogers. I’m grateful for a marriage that only strengthens with each passing year.
I’m also grateful that I have more than I can humanly handle right now because it reminds me that I need Jesus. I’m grateful my house is a wreck because it means I have a family home with me each day. I’m grateful that I get to trust God with my family size because He brings the best surprises.
I’m grateful for the good and the bad for He gives and takes away (Job 1:21). My greatest need has been met through the finished work of Christ. I am so blessed.
Therefore when you’re tempted to complain, think on these three things:
1. Give thanks in all circumstances.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~1 Thessalonians 5:18
God calls us to give thanks in all circumstances. Why? For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. Because of Christ, we can rejoice. Because of Christ, we have fellowship with the Father. Because of Christ, we know life everlasting.
2. Do all things without grumbling.
Do all things without grumbling or questioning. ~Philippians 2:14
This leaves no room for grumbling when our husbands leave their dirty clothes on the floor again. No complaining when we wanted pecan pie instead of coconut pie. No questioning when something we thought God would come through on He withholds.
The command is clear. Do all things without grumbling or questioning.
3. Choose joy.
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. ~Proverbs 17:22
Sometimes life is just down right hard. Sometimes we hit rock bottom. Sometimes our faith comes into question. But even there, we can choose joy. A joyful heart is good medicine for our own souls and the souls of others.
Maybe this is your first Thanksgiving without a loved one. Maybe you’re spending this Thanksgiving answering the infamous question about marriage … again. Maybe you just found out you lost your job or that you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Maybe you’re battling infertility or in the throws of first trimester.
God knows all your circumstances. He knows all your needs. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you.
So this Thanksgiving when you’re tempted to complain, choose to be grateful. Choose to count your blessings.
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