I know you might be snickering at that title — as if it were written: “[She’s] Thinking. Thankfully!” Well, I am working diligently at really t-h-i-n-k-i-n-g before I write, t-h-i-n-k-i-n-g before I speak and even t-h-i-n-k-i-n-g before I think on things. If I’ve learned nothing else in the past year it is to t-h-i-n-k. Think. Think. Think… before I do or say anything. Still, I don’t get things right.
But tonight the thinking I’m referring to is thankful thinking — or, thinking thankfully. Just as it’s very hard — almost impossible — to praise and complain at the same time, it is also very hard to think thankfully and yet be ungrateful at the same time.
During this month, many of us are preparing for Thanksgiving Day. I don’t know what a lot of people do in preparation for Thanksgiving, but I know, as mothers, we spend the month (or at least a couple of weeks) planning, shopping for and preparing foods for the big feat big feast on Thanksgiving Day.
But this month can be, and really should be, devoted to much more than thinking about the Thanksgiving Day meal. And so that’s what I’d like to encourage you with this evening: thinking thankfully.
Do you think thankfully? I know I’ve given this a lot of thought and today, in particular, I’ve been asking myself this question: am I thinking thankfully? When I’ve taken the time to measure a fleeting thought passing through my mind I’ve asked, was that a thankful thought? Was that thought inspired by a thankful heart? When I’ve been working on tasks, I’ve asked, am I thankful for this?
Thankfulness (like it’s near kinsman: gratefulness) is a decision… it’s intentional… it’s a choice. We can choose to be thankful in whatever circumstance we face. We really can learn to: “Count it all joy…” (James 1.2). Sometimes a situation seems to be anything but favourable and we feel anything but thankful — and yet! we can decide to. be. thankful. In fact, we’re commanded to be thankful.
There are numerous other mentions of giving thanks in Psalms alone. And, it’s God’s will that we give thanks.
Still not feeling particularly thankful? I’ll help you: Go get a pen and a sheet of paper – or your journal. Start a list… and work on it — or add to it — every day this month. Start writing down every single thing you can think of for which you are (or ought to be) thankful. You might number the list from one to one-hundred and fill it in until you can’t think of new things. Set it aside and come back to it later to add more. You might use the calendar date to prompt you to make lists — for example, tomorrow is the 14th; make a list of fourteen things. The next day, fifteen things, and so on. Soon, you will be thankful for those things for which you ought to be thankful!! Start inward and work outward or start outward and work inward. Thank the Lord for the opportunity of your own life. His gift of salvation. Jesus and redemption. Your eyes to see, your ears to hear, your mouth to sing, your feet to walk to the water… your hands to hold your daily bread…
If you’re still having a hard time thinking of original entries, then, as I previously mentioned, go to the Psalms — particularly Psalm 30, 105, 106, 118, and 136. Let the Psalms be your prayer.
And then, Consider Jesus…
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
O, there are so many, many things for which to be thankful — regardless our personal situations or feelings, we could never thank the Lord enough for His mercy and loving kindness to us.
God bless you. I’m thankful for you.