In today’s world it can be so easy to look at what we don’t have and forget to be thankful for everything we do have. Several people in my life have gone to other countries and one of the things that they say when they come home is how little most of the people they’ve met have, but it seems the less they have the happier they are. We look at our country and see so much unhappiness. We have so many depressed, ungrateful people in our country. I’m including myself in this. I can easily find myself thinking about what others have that I don’t. It’s a constant struggle to be grateful for all that I have been given.
The last few months I’ve spent a lot of time pet sitting for people with very nice homes and I started to wish my family and I had a nicer place to live. God stepped in and has given me some perspective yet again. This morning He brought to my mind that just a few years ago we were living in someone’s basement after losing our home. We came to Florida with just what we could fit in our cars. We had no furniture and we were able to rent a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment for a very reasonable rate. My husband spent the first few months living here alone and sleeping on a sofa given to us by a very kind family.
The first few weeks I was here were so wonderful. We were so grateful to be living in such a beautiful place. We didn’t care that we didn’t have any furniture, or that we didn’t have all the latest gadgets that seem to be thought of as necessities in our society. It was easy to enjoy the simple pleasures of going to the beach and just taking a walk. I woke up thanking God every day that we were here and we had a roof over our heads.
Just three years later after struggling to find our way we are starting to get on our feet. We have an apartment full of furniture, we have cable and internet and food in the refrigerator and I find myself starting to become dissatisfied again. Why is it so easy to take the blessings we have for granted?
Our best weapon we have to combat ungratefulness is to be grateful on purpose. For the last year, I have made a practice of thanking God for everything that comes to my mind. The list was short at first and grew longer and longer each day. The days that I find myself being ungrateful are usually when I have neglected this practice.
Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-12 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
What can you be grateful for today?