I read this verse today and was instantly convicted. As I look back over the day I’ve just walked through, I can see many instances where I failed miserably. I wasn’t very thankful that a parent meeting was scheduled before my son’s 9am soccer practice. I wasn’t very thankful when the grocery store was overly crowded and I struggled to maneuver down the dairy isle. And I wasn’t very thankful when the neighborhood kids descended on my nicely cleaned – who am I kidding, somewhat cleaned – house and polished off the snacks I had allocated to school lunches for the week.
Is this really how I’m supposed to live? Thankful in all circumstances? Is this even possible?
Colossians tells me that as I receive Christ as my Lord and Savior, as I live in Him day in and day out, as I’m rooted, built up in Him and strengthened in the faith, thankfulness will result. It will be the fruit of my abiding. So where have I gone wrong?
When I fail to give thanks to God, to be thankful in all circumstances, I cast a shadow of darkness over my heart and mind. You see, thankfulness exposes all my self-serving, self-absorbed, and self-indulgent motives and desires to the light. In the darkness, I can continue to think this life is all about me and allow my present circumstances to determine my mood and attitude. But when I’m thankful, I’m less concerned with my needs and more concerned with my blessings. I see my life the way God sees it, abundantly full and abounding in grace. And as my eyes are opened to the love, the mercy, the riches and the redemption offered to me through Christ Jesus, I can’t help but be thankful for all He’s done for me, and all I am through Him, regardless of the circumstances I may find myself in.
And so, thankfulness is a choice. One I need to make daily, over and over again. Will I choose to fix my eyes on Him and see through His eyes, or will I choose to make it all about me? One choice results in an emotional roller-coaster where bitterness and frustrations loom large, the other, eternal peace and joy.
Which will you choose?