I Cried Because I Had No Shoes

photo credit: Kristen Hatcher
My granny used to say, "I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet." It was her way of reminding me to be thankful for what I had instead of complaining about what I lacked.

Thankfulness is a very biblical concept. The apostle Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, reminds us to give thanks "in everything." Notice that he didn't say to give thanks for everything, but in everything. This seemingly insignificant little preposition conveys a world of meaning.

Giving thanks in everything means I don't have to deny the harsh reality that some parts of life are difficult, cruel, tragic, and sad.

Giving thanks in everything means I acknowledge that I serve God, not that He serves me. The opposite of thankfulness, ingratitude, implies that God isn't serving me well enough. It carries with it the expectation that God owes me a certain standard of comfort, provision, and satisfaction. When He fails to live up to my standards, I am free to complain.

The truth is that God owes me nothing. The late Dr. Jerry Falwell often said, "If God never did another thing for me after he saved me, I would still be eternally in his debt." Dr. Fallwell understood thankfulness.

Giving thanks in everything means instead of looking outward at my circumstances, I look upward to see what God is doing in my life. My pastor once shared words of wisdom he received from a woman diagnosed with cancer. "Every day I look around to see evidences of God's care for me," she told him. When we choose to look for God's graces toward us, we never fail to find them.

Giving thanks in everything changes nothing about my circumstances but everything about my heart. It helps me place my trust in my heavenly Father who knows exactly what I need and exactly what I don't need. Choosing thankfulness helps me humbly submit my will to God's, knowing that He will withhold no good thing from me. Because He promises to meet all my needs "according to His riches and glory," I can rest assured that if God hasn't provided it, I don't need it.

Today I choose to give thanks in everything. Will you join me?  I invite you to leave a comment below telling me what you are thankful for today.

Here is a portion of my thankful list: 

I am thankful for:

a warm bed
kind friends
a church family
chocolate covered almonds
the Holy Spirit's constant companionship
words of encouragement
answered prayers
unanswered prayers, for they are the answered prayers of tomorrow
28 years of marriage 
maple walnut ice cream
warm puppies

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  1. I am thankful for today's sunshine, tomorrow's rain, a loving husband, a crazy sister, two brothers, five sons and grandchildren, blessings pressed down, shaken and given with God's great measure.

    1. Anna, just reading your thankful list blessed me! Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Love these lines: "Giving thanks in everything means I acknowledge that I serve God, not that He serves me. The opposite of thankfulness, ingratitude, implies that God isn't serving me well enough."
    I need to be reminded of this daily. Thanks for helping me out today! : )

  3. I'm thankful that God blessed me to wake up each morning and I'm still breathing. I'm thankful God blessing my life and to be cancer free 2years 4months thankful for my life health and strength for my family my children my grandchildren most of all I'm thankful for God saving me and giving me his holy spirit.🙏👏👏😇😊