This past week our garage door opener quit working. That meant that after I pulled out of the garage, I had to exit the car, key in the numbers on the keypad to close the door and then get back into my car; only to be repeated as I returned. Not so bad until it’s pouring rain and its more trouble than it’s worth to pull out the huge umbrella to protect you from the rain. It was over a week before the garage door opener was fixed but I found myself thanking God for the door opener each time I used it. Interesting that I had never thought to be thankful for it before I lost its convenience.
Thank God for all the little conveniences in our lives – curling irons instead of rollers, hand held hair dryers, dishwashers, microwaves, Keurig coffee makers, can openers, razors, scissors, iphones, shower heads, key chains. Key chains – can you imagine what it would be like having to ferret around in our purse looking for each key we have to use every time we need it? We have a hard-enough time keeping track of our keys on the chain; can you imagine how many times we’d lose our keys if they weren’t all together? Thank you, Lord, for whoever invented the key chain. Thank you, Lord, for the person who gave me my key chain. Thanks for key chains.
Thanksgiving is a time to purposefully take time to remember our blessings and be grateful for them. A time to meditate on the good things that have happened and respond with verbal thanksgiving. It’s an actual exercise in remembering – bringing something to our mind.
Our days are often so filled with the activities of life that we hardly take time to celebrate the small joys or blessings. We’re so preoccupied with our list of things to do and the details that we don’t even think to be thankful in the process. We take our blessings for granted and go on our way missing the art of practicing thanksgiving which ultimately produces contentment and joy.
I Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Everything! Not just the big blessings but the small ones too. Giving thanks causes us to think outside of ourselves. It helps us to see that we’re connected and need one another.
Giving thanks can be an act of humility because it reminds us that we need one another. In thanking God, we are acknowledging his provision and our need of him.
Giving thanks even in the difficult times is important. It doesn’t mean we are thankful for what is happening, but that God is there to see us through it. We’re thankful for the opportunity of growth as we trust him for every detail. Thankfulness in these times helps us to connect with God and realize that our help comes from God. It refocuses our eyes on Him instead of the troubles.
Giving thanks creates a grateful heart which produces joy in the remembering. It helps us to more fully appreciate where we’ve come from and where we are in the moment.
Recently, I took time to remember the history of our church and all God has accomplished from the kitchen, to the tent revival to the basement church on Governors Avenue, to our present three phase facility and the CCA building. I kept remembering the hurdles he took us over, the hard times he saw us through and the great fruit in our church and community. My heart was overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness. It was in the remembering that joy flooded my heart and in giving thanks that the joy kept flowing as I could see God’s vision for us in the years ahead.
It was in the remembering and being thankful that faith arose in my heart for where we are now and where God is taking us.
Thankfulness is powerful!
Thanksgiving does so much more for us than we can imagine for our soul health. Maybe that’s why it’s God’s will for us to give thanks in everything – even the garage door opener.