It is easy to think about giving thanks in November when we are "supposed to," but how do we consciously give thanks when we just don't feel like it? We often feel much more comfortable throwing a pity party and thinking about all the reasons why we shouldn't give thanks. We like to think about all that we do not have and justify our frustrations. But there is a better way.
Ann Voskamp writes in her best seller, One Thousand Gifts:
“Eucharisteo means 'to give thanks,' and give is a verb, something that we do. God calls me to do thanks. to give the thanks away. That thanks-giving might literally become thanks-living. That our lives become the very blessings we have received. I am blessed. I can bless. Imagine! I could let Him make me the gift! I could be the joy!”
The root word of eucharisteo is eucharist. The eucharist is the Christian sacrament of communion. So each time we take communion and remember what Christ did for us through His body and blood being torn and shed for us on the cross, we give thanks. We remember. And when we remember what He has done, how can we continue to dwell on all that we do not yet have yet feel entitled to? How can we continue to think about our lack when He is the all-sufficient one? Ann also writes: “Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.”
Isn't that the truth, friends? When we stop navel-gazing and stop thinking about ourselves and allow thanksgiving, or thanks-living to become our focus and way of life? We experience a miracle. Maybe it isn't the way we want it to look. It may not be the exact answer to prayer that we have been hoping for, but the miracle happens in our hearts. It happens when we can open our eyes to see all that God is doing in and around us. It happens when we are able to minister to others because we allow ourselves to enter into their pain with them. It happens when the focus of our prayer moves from what we want to Who we want. Are you in need of a miracle? Stop and give thanks. Live with an attitude of praise. And watch Him work in ways you didn't think were possible.