I was convicted last week. Not the kind of convicted that leaves me with a glaring police record (don’t worry, Dad!) but the kind of convicted that stops me in my tracks and makes me do some honest to goodness thinking. The kind of convicted that humbles you and reminds you that you really don’t have it all figured out. So here I am. Laying it all out for you in hopes that you can take something away from my story.
This past Sunday, our pastor preached a sermon on having an “attitude of gratitude”. He mentioned how the timing of his sermon was a little unconventional since it was the Sunday after Thanksgiving. However, the timing of his sermon was perfect. The week before Thanksgiving we weren’t at our home church. We were in Dallas, Texas. (Remind me to tell you about that sometime) Had he preached his sermon when it would “traditionally” be taught, I would have missed it entirely. Why is this relevant? Well, it’s relevant because my attitude has certainly not been one of gratitude lately. Don’t get me wrong though. If you were to walk up to me and start a conversation, I would be all smiles and positivity. Just please don’t ask my family about my attitude.
There have been too many dishes to be done. A bottomless pit of laundry. Mouths to be fed. Errands. Cleaning. What is this “me time” I hear so much about anyway? I had hit my limit. Even the most mundane 2-minute task would have me grumbling on the inside. What in the world happened to me? I was voted “Most Optimistic” in high school (my parents have ever since demanded a recount) and here I am with so much ungratefulness. I was convicted. Then I sat in my seat at church and listened to my pastor say that we are to be grateful always. Always. That includes when we feel completely exhausted or like life has kicked us down.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
When we are ungrateful, its almost like we’re telling God that what He has given us isn’t enough. I can’t speak for you but I know that I would never in a million years stand in front of God and tell Him that He completely short-changed me as I list my “grievances”. What God has given me is MORE than enough. If God never gave me a single thing, He already gave me enough when He gave us His Son. As we close the door on Thanksgiving and welcome in Christmas, I want to be sure to always remember that. We wait in anticipation for the birth of the greatest gift we will ever receive–its not wrapped under the tree; it was found in a manger.
This week my attitude is changing. I can’t change it on my own. Like all other areas of my life, I need Him and His help to change the ungratefulness that has slowly creeped in. As I do those dishes, I will be glad that I have dishes to wash. As I do laundry, I will praise God that I have clothing to clothe my family. As I feed those mouths, I will be thankful that God has blessed me with those mouths to feed and the food to do it. So much of what I have grumbled about is something that others are longing for and I don’t ever want to take that for granted.
I’ll be praying that God helps me to have an attitude of gratitude and I’d love to pray for you, too.