A little thought on “thank you”

Confession: I admit that I haven’t been faithful in putting it into practice, none the less the Lord has been teaching me truth upon truth about thanksgiving over the last months.

It all started when I got home and I thought it would be impossible to find a job. It can be difficult to be an unskilled worker in Denmark, especially in the beginning of September. For a couple of weeks I would go out with application, not getting a single word in response other than “thank you, we’ll save it”. I was complaining, but God kindly showed me how I was holding on to entitlement, as if he owed me a place to work. I had no right to demand a job. So I tried to shift my perspective, now aware that gratitude kills entitlement. Instead of grumbling over the things I didn’t have I could thank Jesus for what I did have – which is an impressively lot. I think gratitude is the number one ingredient to satisfaction. Instead of always wanting more, I want to always thank God for what I have. I doesn’t always have to be a feeling. I think it’s a choice. When Paul and Silas worshipped God in prison I can’t believe that they were ecstatic and just couldn’t sit still. I think they made a commitment to thank God in the midst of pain. And the reward was joy.
The same thing happens when I miss Los Angeles from time to time. I does hurt, because so much growth and love and so many dreams were cultivated there. Allowing myself to miss it, I thank God for the reason for this little sting in my heart. I thank Him for everything I learned there and all the people I met, and somethin switches in my heart. It’s joy. Sneaking in and taking over.

Now back to my work situation.. The cool thing was that I did get a job shortly after. Not just one. Three actually. Almost without doing anything. God had been showing me stories of provision and promises in the Bible and it all came my way like an avalanche. I was overwhelmed, but oh, how easy it is to forget his goodness. A few weeks ago I visited a friend from high school. She’s not a Christian and I was determined to share with her some of the great things I’d experienced with God over the last year. I told her that I’d gotten three jobs, and she was very impressed with me.. And then I didn’t even tell her how it had all happened. I didn’t say a single word about how God has led me. I barely know why, but it left a bitter taste in me, and I had to ask God to forgive me for robbing Him for glory instead of giving Him thanks. 

Gratitude also affects my time management (at least if I let it…). Because I have had a lot of free time/alone time I’ve caught my self spending an unnecessary amount of hours on my phone, just scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, watching endless stories where I could’ve spend my time on more edifying things. I am truly grateful for social media – for several reasons; it keeps me updated with events and meetings and church and what not, and it allows me to stay in touch with my friends from YWAM. But if I was more focused on that sort of blessing while on my phone, I think I would put it down faster. It’s easy to get dive into a never ending scroll and most of the time I feel life getting sucked out of me instead of being thankful for the opportunities it gives me. 

I’m touched and happy when people appreciate what I do for them. I think we all do, and that is a feature we got from Jesus Himself. He is so happy when we thank Him for His work in our lives! Big or small. And once we see it, focus on it, soak in it – we love Him more deeply and we love other people better. Gratitude begets further gratitude.

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