I’ve always associated giving thanks with abundance. When we reflect on the actual day we celebrate Thanksgiving, we likely think of having more than enough food, plenty of family around us, and Turkey leftovers for days. But I now know ‘thanksgiving’ can happen anytime, and is probably most profound when it comes from a place of brokenness.
Not only does it carry a peculiar beauty, it carries power. I believe that power is a gift God wants to give to you today.
When my husband was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer at the age of 45, then moved to Heaven just 14 months later, our hearts were shattered. But it was only seconds after he exhaled earth and inhaled Heaven that I experienced true thanksgiving in the midst of heartbreak. I remembered feeling it and marveling that the two could coexist.
When life gets hard and the way we envisioned it would always be ceases to exist, we have two choices. We can become bitter or we can press into the Father. We can hop back up on that potter’s wheel and say, “Fashion me into the vessel You want for Your glory.” It’s a choice we make, not one time but again and again.
I had actually been practicing giving thanks daily for the three years leading up to this. The practice of noticing and giving thanks shifted my focus from the little things that used to rob me of my peace to all the tiny drops of grace the Lord would shower my days with.
When you begin practicing the presence of God, it opens up a whole new world of sight. It is this perspective, this seeing with new eyes, that allows you to walk by faith. What once was impossible is now the only way. The only way to move forward in joy is to give thanks with each step.
Cultivating a heart of thanksgiving is a process, but we have a good Gardener and the harvest is so worth it. I pray that the eyes of our hearts are enlightened during this season of ‘giving thanks’ and even after. Ask the Lord to help you notice some things today you may have formerly passed by, and give thanks for them. And if life finds you in a difficult place, you, too, can choose a sacrifice of praise.
“I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116:17, NIV).