In a "first world problems" culture, where a bad hair day or slow Internet is enough to dampen our mood, complaints seem more common than thanks.
It can be hard to stop and appreciate what we have and often we need a reminder, which is why Thanksgiving is such an important holiday. For a time, we take a break from our busy lives, our stresses, and all the things we feel make our lives so unsatisfactory and focus on the things that make it great, whether big or small.
On the roof over our heads. On the job of putting fuel in our cars and food on our tables. On the people we have in our lives who sit at the table with us. On the comfortable couch we can relax on after a long day. On the tree in our backyard finally flowering. On chocolate and red wine.
Giving thanks is beneficial to us. According to several studies it can improve psychological and physical health by reducing toxic emotions like envy, resentment, frustration, and regret. This is said to help improve sleep, self-esteem, and our overall mental health. Plus, it is always nice to feel appreciated when others are grateful towards us.
Who do we have to thank for our homes, our jobs, our furniture, the beauty of nature around us, and the deliciousness of chocolate?
Every good gift that we receive, God tells us, comes from His hand (James 1 verse 17). Just as a parent likes to give to their child, to provide them the best nutrition, care, education, and joy they possibly can, God delights in giving to us. He gives us what He knows we need, and on top of that He blesses us with gifts.
And when we recognize Him as Lord we are given the greatest gift there is: Eternal life free of suffering. Though none of us deserve this, He offers it freely.
In this time of celebration, know who it is you are thanking, and "give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5 verse 20). He gives us everything we have, and when you stop to think about it you might realize that is much to be thankful for.•