Giving thanks in all circumstances is no easy task, but as Christians, it’s what we’re called to do.
When we’ve had a terrible day at work? Yes.
When we receive a difficult medical diagnosis? Then too.
When we lose a close family member or friend? There are no exceptions.
We are to give thanks in all circumstances.
Seem impossible? For a long time, I thought so too. In fact, it took me years to uncover the importance of giving thanks no matter what.
Try, Try Again
The first time I consciously focused on implementing a daily gratitude practice I failed quite miserably.
During a period where I was struggling at work, my boss encouraged me to end each day by writing a list of what I was grateful I had accomplished.
Failing to understand how this task would help my situation, the effort I put forth was haphazard. Embarrassingly, not much was gained through the experience.
Fast forward a few years.
I experienced a period in my life where I learned a hard lesson: sometimes life is heavy. I discovered that if life promises anything, it’s that challenges are bound to arise. No one is exempt from pain and suffering.
One year into a life-changing medical diagnosis, I gave the practice of gratitude another try.
I finally came to understand why God doesn’t present giving thanks as optional.
Gratitude Changes Everything
When you take the time to notice the good around you–especially the little things–it truly changes everything.
Your perspective begins to shift.
- A moved medical appointment means you get to see your regular doctor–whom you trust with your life–instead of a substitute
- Running late could have kept you from being apart of the accident you witnessed
- Watching a flower grow and bloom reminds you that change doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a slow, steady process to achieve growth
No matter what each day may bring, when you seek the good, you are bound to find it.
Through a regular gratitude practice, it becomes easier to find the good when life seems to throw you less.
As Robert Edmons shares in his article, “Why Gratitude is Good,” gratitude helps us to “affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.”
Do you want that in your life?
Seek and Find the Good
There is goodness waiting to be found amidst everyday life.
How do you get started seeking and finding the good? The easiest way is to start a gratitude journal.
If you don’t have a journal on hand, use a scrap of paper or the Notes app on your phone.
On a daily basis, begin to write down at least three things you are grateful for. The more specific you can be, the better (e.g. feeling the sunshine on my face after three days of rain versus the weather).
It may feel a little unnatural at first, but as you continue to seek and find the good, it will become easier and easier. Slowly, but surely, it will change your life.
Interested in cultivating more gratitude in your life? Take the 10-Day Gratitude Challenge: Seek and Find the Good.
Share Your Gratitude Journey
As you #seekandfindthegood in your everyday life, I’d love for you to join me in sharing what you discover over on Instagram.