Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Yesterday brought about five inches of the heavy, slippery stuff—the kind that forced my attention to the tracks ahead of me and my hands to remain glued to the steering wheel as I wended home from vending at a craft fair. But all the way home on that treacherous road, my heart overflowed with thanksgiving for God’s wondrous beauty of trees draped in clean, cottony softness. Choosing to thank Him in the storm always makes the journey shorter and more enjoyable.


Living With Thanksgiving in the Moment

For some of you, Thanksgiving Day has come and gone. Regardless, I hope that for you, every day becomes a day of thanksgiving. When we live in the moment, accepting each day and hour as a gift, it becomes easier to be thankful for what we have. Perhaps that’s why the pilgrims were able to set aside a special day for thanking God—though they had suffered greatly that first, harsh winter. Perhaps that’s why the apostle Paul, who suffered more than most others through repeated beatings, shipwrecks, and imprisonments, never ceased to thank and praise God. He viewed his sufferings as opportunities rather than as deficits.

It’s not easy to “live in the moment with thanksgiving” while our knee aches. Rather, we tend to commiserate about the stupid accident that caused our knee injury, or about the dim outlook ahead. It’s not easy to be thankful when our emotions run rampant over someone’s offending word. We’d rather think back to other offenses to justify our anger, or think ahead to the miserable loss of that person’s friendship.

Living with thanksgiving in the moment has great value. It can change our attitude to one of expectation that God is with us and will help us overcome whatever problems we face. It enables us to see life as a gift rather than a coincidence or stroke of luck. It brings unexpected blessings.

In other words, living with thanksgiving in the moment with God helps us to take our eyes off ourselves, to gain a new perspective of life. All these benefits bring health and healing to our body, soul, and spirit. We smile more easily and more often, which in turn causes others to smile—others who also may have little to smile about. I have no doubt that our thanks puts a smile on God, too.

Perhaps we can liken the habit of giving thanks as a discipline—a habit we can form and practice “in the moment” through daily communication with God. Here are three reasons to daily thank Him:

“…for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Lord, we thank You for all things. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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