When my kids were little, I taught them how to play the thankful game. The game is simple and kind of silly, but we were reminded of a valuable lesson. There is always something to be thankful for... always!
I remember playing the thankful game around the kitchen table or in the car. Each person took a turn saying what they were thankful for. Of course, in the Lennon house, there had to be a winner! You won the thankful game by out lasting the other players. In essence, you were able to show honestly that you were more thankful than the other players.
We played the thankful game when our attitudes were slipping or if we felt like someone else's life was better than ours. I was amazed by the difference a quick round of the thankful game could make in our outlook, especially mine.
In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul reminds about the importance of thanksgiving in the midst of uncertain or anxious times. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (New International Version, emphasis added)
We all want to experience God's peace in our hearts and minds especially during uncertain times. How do we get to the place of peace? Paul says that we need to present our requests to God with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a powerful commodity because it helps us to see all the ways that God is present and active in the middle of our uncertain times.
Have you noticed that it is easy to focus on the things that are missing? Sometimes it is a financial blessing, a desired relationship, improved health, or maybe just some opportunities to move forward. Thankfulness helps us to regroup when we are overwhelmed by all the things that are not happening in life. Thankfulness helps us to see how God is present and faithfully providing. Often God's blessings come in unexpected forms and in unexpected ways. If we are not careful, we can easily miss them.
Perhaps you are going through a season that is producing some anxious moments. Maybe you can't sleep at night, or you don't know what will happen next. Stop and play the thankful game. As you do, know that God is in control and that He gladly offers His peace to you.
I'll go first. I am thankful for faith, forgiveness, family, life, health, friends, love, hope, jobs, freedom, and lip gloss. (I really do love lip gloss. It is a game changer on a rough day!) Ok. Now, it's your turn. What are you thankful for?