Continuing on with the 3-part series: Being Thankful for the Past, Present and Future let’s recap- last week. We put on our pirate’s hat and set out in search of thankful treasures from our past. Many of us have broken and painful pasts, but there were a few nuggets discovered that gave us something to be thankful for. Then, we made a decision to take the thankful challenge. Grab those notes from last week and let’s venture to the present.
Present thankfulness…or lack thereof…lends to a new set of challenges. While the past might influence our current day thankfulness, there are a set of entirely different difficulties with the present. Once again, put on your pirates hat with me and let’s search for the thankful treasures in the present.
With every lift of the fork, buttoning up of a shirt, laying on a pillow at night…every provision under the sun is gift from God. Just as He gave the Israelites their daily manna from Heaven (Exodus 16) so He gives us our daily needs. Stop looking behind in the past or too far into the future. Simply sit right where you are and look at your surroundings…look at what God has given you today. Give Him thanks and chose to have an attitude of gratitude for today.
Being a worrier is the enemy of recognizing today’s blessings. God provides what I need when I need it, and I’ve missed out on the peace and contentment that comes from being thankful moment by moment. As I stop gazing too far into the future I suddenly notice the beauty right in front of my face. Overwhelmed with thankfulness for my family, my home, food, clothing and the beauty of a sunset or the rainbow after a storm.
“The Lord is my Shepherd. I have everything I need.” Psalm 108:8-9
There is no guarantee of the length of one’s life. Only God knows the number of days each person has. But if you woke up this morning you have been given the gift of today. Today you are living and breathing and that is something to be thankful for!
Taking for granted the number of days I have is foolishness. It causes me to forget the gift of today and rather focus on petty and worldly things. Time is limited and I don’t want to waste it. Being thankful for today will set the stage for what I do now. Not in fear…for God is not a God of fear. But with thanksgiving, for life is a gift to be lived to the fullest.
“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
The gift of today means there is still time. Time for the nagging voice inside that you have ignored for too long and need to act on. Time for making amends. Time to say “I love you or I forgive you.” Time to pursue that dream or break free from a bad habit or addiction. Time to make the most important decision you will ever make…the decision that has eternal impact…have you accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Be thankful you still have time today.
I am guilty of letting the busyness of life drown out my inner voice…the place where God speaks to me about what is important. The prompting to make a phone call to an old friend or send an old-fashioned birthday card in the mail to a loved one instead of texting. I am guilty of misplaced priorities and not doing God’s best each day. But I am thankful there is still time. Thankful that today I can listen to my heart and I can respond to God.
“Teach us to number our days , that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
Today there are people in your life to be thankful for. Family and friends are the most obvious. But there are still others like the church community, co-workers, your doctor or dentist or any networks you belong to. Even strangers…the people whose path you come across at a grocery store or in the parking lot. God has given us to each other and many times God shows his love to us through others. Who has God shown love to you through?
If you asked me who I am thankful for I would immediately reply with my husband, my children, my immediate and extended family and my best friends. However, there are so many more beyond that. God has been so good to me and he has not held back with the love and kindness of people. I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving.
If you are lonely and struggling to be thankful for people due to loneliness I challenge you to put yourself out there and ask someone to lunch. Begin to build friendship. Ask God to provide. Be sure you are seeing the people blessings that you might be overlooking.
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.” Philippians 1:3
As we grow and mature we change. We are ever-changing people and never the same as yesterday. Experiences, mistakes, and age brings wisdom to those who seek it. That is reason to celebrate! The past might be filled with memories of regret and sorrow but you are not the same person you used to be. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit we are all made new…thank you Father God!
AMEN! That is exactly my response! Incredible thankfulness flows from this knowledge. I had a broken past filled with pain and mistakes, but today I am stronger, wiser and better equipped to handle the situations of life. I am a new creation. Today I am not the same as yesterday!
“He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:3
So many of us live in the past or the future and we rarely are in the moment. Thankfulness is a feeling in the now. Be intentional about it.
Let’s continue on with the Thankful Challenge– Grab your notes from last week and write out your responses to: God’s Provision Now, Today’s Breath of Air, There is Still Time, People Blessings and Not Who I Used to Be. If you missed the first part of the 3-Part Series: Being Thankful for the Past, Present and Future you can click here: Dare to Be Thankful for the Past.
Next week we will wrap up this 3-part series with Dare to be Thankful for the Future.
Sincerely with Hugs,
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