Thanks to Emily’s encouragement at Chatting at the Sky, I’ve been taking a moment to think about things I am thankful for (and still share some Travelling-goodness with you) on Tuesdays. Last week I bought a lot of fruit and veg at the grocery store…too much to fit in my tiny fruit basket shopping cart, and so I had to choose another bowl to arrange some of it in.
As I took a moment to step back and smile at my arrangement, I suddenly realised what a privilege it is to even have this much food. I thought about people nearby who will perhaps never have the funds to buy as much food as we buy each time we pop into the Pic n Pay. My heart was warm with thankfulness, and humbled with conviction as well.
I am thankful for what I have.
But I want to make sure I remember the poor and give.
And the realisation of both of those things is a good reason to be thankful on a Tuesday.
After spending time in the townships and taking a good look at how different my life could be were I born in a different place to a different family, I am suddenly newly thankful for things that I haven’t really thought to be thankful for before. The other morning, Hero Hubs was on an airport run, so instead of my special HH latte, I had a french press cup of coffee.
As I sprinkled in a little cinnamon, gave the coffee a stir and let it sit still for a bit, I was washed over with a wave of thankfulness for the simple pleasures that I enjoy day after day. I think it is really, really good for our souls when we take a moment to realise that we have so very, very much to be thankful for.
We are constantly bombarded with images that create in us a desire for more, for different, for newer and for better. We’re taught discontentment from an early age. But if we take a moment to consider that almost everything we have is something that many, many people around the world don’t, it might really change our attitudes.
When you realise that something as simple as this can mean so much to someone…
something as simple as this
might make you realise your cup is overflowing.
Might I leave you with some lyrics from a beautiful Waterdeep song?
A thankful heart prepares the way for you our God…
Come fall on us, we fall on you.
A thankful heart will be our rhythm.
Come fall on us, we fall on you.
A thankful heart will be our song.
Lord, let it be so.
Folks all over cyberspace are unwrapping thankfulness today. Join in the joy @ Chatting at the Sky. Don’t forget to come back Friday for the giveaway!!
I was recently reading in Numbers 11, where the children of Israel have begun their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. God had provided manna for them to eat, and was leading them with His presence day and night. They began to complain because they only had manna to eat, and they looked back at their time in Egypt with sorrow — they missed being in Egypt, in slavery.
â€œWe remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!â€
It is easy to read their comments and cast judgement: those ninnymuggins Israelites. Hello? What about the fact that you were slaves in Egypt, and now you have freedom? You have food to eat every day and all you have to do is gather it. You are free! Youâ€™re not slaves anymore doing ridiculously intense labour! And you have a promise from a God who has already caused you to walk through the Red Sea on dry land! He is surely able to make good on His promises.
But I wonder if we perhaps do the same thing in our lives sometimes? Do we see the provision of God in our daily lives as boring old manna? I think I do sometimes. The problem is that itâ€™s in our nature to focus on what we donâ€™t have. We look at what other people have, we see advertising all around us all day, every day. (Why do half the people who watch the Super Bowl watch it? Advertising!) Weâ€™re encouraged to be dissatisfied with what we have, and to spend money to get what we donâ€™t have. And itâ€™s a never-enough kind of cycle.
My encouragement in response? Two things. First, think on the things that will make you thankful. Put reminders on your walls, on your mirrors, all around you, that will encourage you to count your blessings and remember how good you really have it. Do you have food to eat every day? You have cause to be thankful. Do you have clothes to wear every day? You have cause to be thankful.
Second, consider spending less time watching TV and reading magazines which are specifically intended to cause you to be discontent with what you have. Spend more time thanking God for His great provision, and reading His Word, which will remind you of all the stupendously mind-boggling gifts you have in Jesus — for now, and all of eternity. You might have a little more joy every day, because you will find contentment with your life as it is now.
The Sermon in a Nutshell: Your heart will follow your head. What you believe about your circumstances will determine your perspective, your attitude and your response. So whereâ€™s your head these days?