What are you thankful for? Go on, what is it? Perhaps (like I) you’re frozen, and find yourself repeating the same knowledgeable answers: food, water, a home… It’s as if we know that we ought to be thankful, even when we don’t feel like it…
Having an attitude of gratitude is so important – it’s a love language to God! As we learn to appreciate and give praise to God for the small things in life, we allow ourselves to truly appreciate and cherish blessings. Rapidly, our perspective changes for the better!
As humans, we suck at gratitude! It’s so easy to find ourselves complaining about things. We wake up, look outside, and it’s raining: How miserable! We walk downstairs and find that there’s no milk left in the fridge: why is today such a bad day? Then the car breaks down: I haven’t got the time, nor the effort to walk today! It all comes crashing down…
But what if, as Christians, we started to look with Christ’s eyes – to truly see how God sees. It’s written all over the book of Psalms: when David was experiencing his greatest times of trial, he still chose to praise God! “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again–my Savior and my God!” Psalm 43:5.
When you wake up and it’s raining: thank you God for blessing us with water! When the milk runs out: God thank you that I am able to grab food from the fridge, and find all that I need at a local store! When the car breaks down: God I praise you for giving me legs, for I know that there are others less fortunate…
Don’t you see? Having gratitude in all situations is incredibly powerful! It completely changes the way we live – wouldn’t it be great if everybody was able to encounter God’s rich blessings in the face of trial? It all starts with gratitude!
This week, God had been challenging me with gratitude. Each day I use to get to the “thank you” part of prayer, and loose focus after mumbling something about, “food, home, family…” I wasn’t actively thankful. However, I’ve been challenged to write down 3 different things to be thankful for each day, and to then pray over them at the end of the week. I’ve also been challenged to start thanking people in my life, for the small things they do – what a great way to encourage others, and praise God at the same time!
One particular change in me this week, relates to an attitude of gratitude surrounding food. I eat a lot (and I mean a lot) of food, and although I do eat healthily, planning meals, and good food have become a huge focus. So much so, that I’m constantly distracted by “what shall I eat later?” and when I do eventually sit down to eat, I eat so quickly that I forget to appreciate it. I’ve been subconsciously looking for satisfaction in food – without having gratitude.
For a while, I have been thinking about changing to a vegetarian diet for reasons including health, cooking interest, and preference. However, the fear of “missing out on the meat-meals I love the most” has been holding me back. Therefore, when I came to realise just how much I needed to refocus upon gratitude, I impulse scrawled on the shopping list: ELEANOR IS GOING VEGETARIAN!
Even now, I cringe at the though of joining some “save the animals” cult – in no way at all am I doing this for the sake of a chicken! But at day 3, I’m battling the struggle, and turning to thankfulness. When I open the fridge door, and spot the ingredients for my dad’s speciality chicken and chorizo paella (my favourite) I force out a, “Lord thank you for granting a Father who cooks so well.” I then remind myself of those in the 3rd world who perhaps, have never eaten a single piece of meat, and question: who am I to deserve such a rich diet more than they do?
I will most likely return to meat in the future, and occasionally indulge with a very thankful heart, but for the next few weeks (or months depending on how I find it), it’s time to cherish this new cooking experience! As we continue with our year of Grace Cherish Go, it’s time to put our faith into action – by stepping up to the challenge of cherishing the small, in our daily lives, for others to see.
Thank you God for vegetables!
What are you thankful for?
P.s. Today’s photograph was taken by Anthony Melendrez – check out his photography here!