(Photo by Selma Komisky)
These Two Words Can Change Everything
By Amanda Zarate
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
Have you ever wanted something so bad that all you could think about was that one thing? Or have you ever been so focused on that one part of your life that is missing something that it consumes all your thoughts? I have. We all have if we are honest. Most of us do not get everything we want when we want it. This is a good thing because most of the time if God did allow us to get everything we asked for we would find out it wasn’t what we really wanted anyway. A few years ago, I tried everything in my power to buy a Mini Cooper and I was so disappointed when it didn’t work out. Today, I am the soccer mom cruising around with our four boys and their friends in my minivan (I love my minivan). We would have never fit in a Mini Cooper!
It’s easy to be thankful for situations or blessings when they have worked out another way, such as my car story, but how do we get through the times before anything has worked out and we still want so badly what we want? Two words can change everything – Thank you. Start with saying thank you for what you DO have. When you intentionally look for the good in your life, you will see it. One of the easiest ways the devil can rob you of your blessings is to get you so distracted on what you don’t have that you miss all that God has given you.
More recently, I was overly focused on wanting a bigger home for my family. It is not a bad thing that I want a yard and more bedrooms for our kids, but my desire for this house has been so strong that all I could think about was the house I don’t have. I became angry, resentful, unappreciative, and even bitter. It seems so easy for everyone else to just buy a house, why can’t we do that? Finally, I began to thank Jesus for my home, for my patio, for my kitchen, and to love on the space that He has given me. I hung colorful curtains and artwork, cleaned off my patio and made an outdoor living room complete with hanging lights and an outdoor rug. Our little house is now our home. Not only did the look of it transform, but, more importantly, the peace of God now fills the air. I still don’t have the house I want, but my heart is thankful for all the blessings I do have. I feel happy and fulfilled knowing I am right where God wants me to be right now.
Saying Thank you will not magically turn your circumstances around, but it can instantly change your perspective. You can choose to see the health you do have, the finances you do have, the friends you do have, the love you do have, and everything else God has blessed you with. You are well aware of what isn’t right; I know it’s hard, I get it. I’m not saying to ignore it, but I am encouraging you to focus on what IS right. Thank God for your eyesight, your hands, fingers, toes, your hot shower, your car, your job, and your family. My dad was so abusive he went to jail for how he treated me, but I am thankful for the good that he gave me. He gave me life, he gave me confidence, and many funny memories. Choose to say Thank You, not because all is good, but because God, who is the giver of all, is good.
Lastly, it is the will of God for those of us who believe in Jesus to be thankful in all circumstances. Life is hard for everyone at some point. We all go through seasons we wish we could skip past. What a testimony to those without the hope of Jesus to see us praising God and thanking Him even when we don’t get our way.