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thankful2Our 31 days are slowly coming to an end.  In some ways, I’m having to think hard about which things I want to add.  In other ways, I’d like to say more about some topics I’ve brought up.

I still might!  As I have been writing this series of posts, of course, I have been worshipping in church, studying GOD’s Word, preparing to lead and studying with a small group of women each week and being otherwise involved with groups of people in various ways.

Often, I have thought of topics I have wanted to add or add to.  Sometimes I have had the chance, others no.  I didn’t expect this series to become the end all on this topic.  I expected it to be more of an introduction to topics for you to work on further as you need the help.

Thankfulness is basic to maturity!

Today’s topic is one that is basic to growing up.  You know at the beginning when I talked about being a truth-lover?  Well, this topic is one that is quite necessary for a person to grow up.  I think it is particularly needed in this affluent American culture many of us live in.  I know we don’t all consider ourselves affluent, but when we compare ourselves to the world at large, we all are affluent…it’s more a matter of degree.  No, I’m not insensitive to the poor.  There is much we can do to help the poor in America…and we should do it.  I’m just saying that our poverty here is different from the world’s poverty.  It looks different.  I don’t mean to denigrate the pain of it at all.

Have I learned to be grateful for all that GOD has given me?

Our topic today is: having a thankful heart.  Another word for it is grateful.  Am I grateful for what I do have?  Or am I constantly wanting more in terms of either tangible goods or in terms of adoration and applause.  Either way, gratefulness tends not to come naturally.

We are surrounded by so much that it is easy to become dissatisfied with what we have.  Then we turn on the TV or even the computer and ads and commercials abound!  There seems to be someone there trying to convince us we need something else beside what we presently have!

How can we learn to be thankful?

Certainly by learning to use the words “Thank you” often.  That helps.  I don’t notice children saying it like it was expected from them at one time.  I think it is sad because it tends to reflect an attitude  of entitlement.  If they grow up with that attitude, they will be miserable for sure!  They won’t “grow up.”

Of course, learning to say thankful words doesn’t make me truly thankful.  I need to stop and pause…maybe at the end of the day.  What can I thank GOD for?  If it is a good day, it often isn’t difficult to be thankful…for joyful events of the day.

Other ideas for thankfulness?  For his beauty strewn across the sky, autumn colors sprinkled across the hills or mountains nearby, or other aspects of creation that speak of GOD’s presence in creation.

We also have relationships to be thankful for as well…all have been gifts from GOD to us.   But then there are the bad days…the days when we get a bad diagnosis, bad news from a friend, relationship difficulties that have us out of balance?  What do we do on those days?

Is there nothing to be thankful for?  What about GOD’s presence with us, His sustaining grace, His comfort, you can add to the list.  Often an exercise in gratefulness involves looking, lifting up the underbrush to see where He is.  What about the situation can provide fodder for thankfulness even when it is hard, painful and difficult?

Asking GOD to open our eyes to the places where we can be grateful will certainly do just that…show us in places we don’t expect!

ChangePoint:

Stop today and think over the last day or two.  What about these few days gives you something for which to be thankful to GOD?

Reflect on the following: Psalm 69, Psalm 95, Isaiah 51:1-8.

These are just a few examples of places to read about being thankful in different settings.

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