I enjoy this time of year. As much as I joke about it, I do like reading people’s Facebook posts of what they’re thankful for each day. About this time in the month though, most have quit doing it, a few will post the last several days together and some remain faithful to it. I believe that being thankful changes your perspective in situations. It takes your eyes off of what you don’t have to what you do have. If you’re constantly wishing you had more without being thankful for what you have, you will never be happy. You will never be satisfied in life and it will be a long, bumpy ride.
I saw two different children in Haiti that really got my attention. One little boy was running down the side of the road. He was pulling a string that was attached to the neck of a water bottle. There were two pencils stuck through the side of the bottle with bottle caps on the ends making wheels. He had a huge grin as he pulled his homemade car down the road. Another child I saw had a stroller wheel with a stick in it. He ran around holding that stick and pushing that wheel wherever he went. It looked like it was his favorite toy. Both kids were satisfied with what little they had. Both kids were thankful just to have a toy.
They both know that there are better toys out there in the world, but they’ve chosen to be satisfied with what they have. That’s the secret to happiness. I’m not saying you shouldn’t want to improve your life, have a better house or a job that pays more. I’m saying, learn to be content and satisfied with what you have right now. Don’t get caught up in the lie that says, “If only I had ________ I’d be happy.” Being satisfied and thankful for what you have right now is a choice that only you can make. Things should never control how you feel. I say that as a person who knows what it’s like to have everything I want and as one who knows what it’s like to have nothing.
When we allow things to control our happiness, we lose sight of God. We are telling Him that what He thinks we should have is not enough. We are telling Him that He is not a good provider. Once we learn to see that the things we have aren’t even ours, but rather they’re His and we are just stewards over them, we can learn to be satisfied and happy. God’s message is different than the world’s. It always has been and always will be. Therefore, as God’s people, we should live our lives differently too. We shouldn’t be worried about the things we don’t have, but rather we should be thankful for what we do have.
There’s an old hymn that says, “Count your blessings one by one. Count your blessing, see what God has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one. It will surprise you what The Lord has done.” That’s the thought I want to leave you with today. Count your blessings today and see what God has done and where He’s brought you from. You’ll have a lot to be thankful for, I’m sure.