My life has mostly been one of privilege. I imagine most of the people reading this can say the same thing. We are reminded time and again how fortunate we are. When we were children and complained, our parents would remind us that other children did not have what we did. As adults, we complain and then we see others in much worse situations. Why do we complain sometimes and at other times are thankful? I believe there are two reasons; thankfulness is both a matter of perspective and of choice.
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” How can we be thankful when we are out of work? How can we rejoice when our health fails, when we are lonely or discouraged? We rejoice because we make a decision to do so. We are thankful because we choose to focus on that which is good.
During this Thanksgiving week, I encourage you to focus on that for which you have to be thankful. Focus on friends and family that are still around. Focus on fond memories. Focus on the love that God has for you. His love for you is so great that he gave his only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for your sins. In Jesus’ sufferings we find solace that he relates to our deepest pains and struggles. Jesus knows your pain. Jesus chose to bear your burdens. So, let us choose to leave our burdens at his feet. Let us choose to be thankful.