On a shelf in our home is a glass jar, half-full of rocks. Each rock is inscribed with a date and a short phrase stating a significant event of God’s providence in our life.

We just added a new rock to that jar, the date: 10/11/10, the event: EMPLOYMENT! It’s been a long road and sadly, many are still on that road, so I knew my title for this month’s article was a no-brainer: “Thankful.”

I could list all the wonderful things and dates that are written on each rock in our jar, and I’m sure you would rejoice with us, but my heart is focused this month on a phenomenon I discovered through our unemployment journey: thankfulness is the key that unlocks the door to a treasury that exceeds any paycheck or benefits this world could ever offer!

A little definition is needed here: thankfulness is an act of our will to attribute gratitude to someone else. That being said, I must clarify that it is not the same as “positive thinking” or “a positive attitude.” Being “positive” is a perspective we choose for ourselves. Thankfulness is something we give to someone else.

We all say we are thankful, especially in November, but are we thankful to God? Why do I have to ask such a silly question? Because tragically we easily forget that God is the giver.

The Scripture says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 NKJV)

The other reason I asked if we are thankful to God is because we tend to get angry at Him when things aren’t going well—when we’re still unemployed after a year. It was in this circumstance that we discovered the phenomenon of thankfulness.

When we are thankful to God for both the good and the bad, we actually allow Him to change our circumstances, open up new understanding about our circumstances or use our circumstances to bless someone else.

But that’s not all! In the simple act of humble gratitude, our fears were driven away, our hope was restored (despite literally hundreds of job applications without one response in an entire year), and we stayed fed, sheltered and clothed. Being thankful kept us focused on the fact that God was in control, that we can trust Him.

Being thankful shielded us from feelings of despair; it kept depression and pity at bay. Did those nasty things come our way? Yes. They knocked on our door often, but by choosing to be thankful to God, none stayed long. Instead we stayed close to those who love us and from their hands received many a meal, many a warm assurance that we would make it through.

Instead of riding the tide of good days and bad days, be thankful to God no matter what you are facing and unleash His mighty power and love all over your life this sacred holiday season.

Have a truly Happy Thanksgiving!



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