We are coming upon a season where we are all encouraged to give thanks. The Bible says that in all circumstances we are to give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  How is that possible?  Is it possible to truly live a life and thankfulness and gratitude or is an impossible command God gives us?

In the Gospel of John chapter 9 there is the account of a man that was born blind.  The belief at the time was that any birth defects must be the punishment for the sins of the parents or even some suggested that baby had somehow sinned while still in the womb.  When asked for the reason the man was born blind Jesus said it was neither the man’s sin as a baby or his parent’s sin. Jesus said he was born blind so that the “works of God might be displayed in his life.”  After the man is healed and is now seeing for the very first time in his life he is badgered with questions about who healed him.  The man’s response was powerful, “I know this, I was blind, and now I can see!”  Jesus had literally changed his perspective on everything.  He could not stop giving thanks for the fact that he could now see.  Something we take for granted.

This past winter we went several months without hot water in our house.  Now, almost a year later, I am thankful for every single drop of hot water in our home.  Our daughter when she was born was close to death because her lungs were failing.  Now several years later I catch myself just watching her breath in and out, something that comes so naturally for most of us. I’m thankful for each and every breath her lungs breath in and out.  I’ve watched videos online of people seeing colors for the very first time or people that couldn’t hear now through a medical miracle they are able to hear.  I can watch those videos all day long.  I’ve been to one of the poorest countries in the world and I’ve witness children jump for joy at the opportunity to go to school so that they can learn.  I’ve seen the tears in their eyes as they enjoyed a meal of rice and beans after several days of being hungry.

I can think of plenty of circumstances where I most definitely did not want to give thanks.  You want me to give thanks when my bank account is empty?  You want me to give thanks when I have a flat tire?  Before you try to give thanks ask God to change your perspective.  When you see things with new eyes you’ll be able to give thanks and the work of God will be displayed in your life.

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