I was inspired the other day when I read some personal accounts on a friend’s blog on the subject of praising God for His goodness in spite of daily problems and annoyances.
Generally, I’m a thankful person. I post inspirational stories on my blog or send them to friends and family by email to share with them the good things that happen in my life. Still, after all these years, I wasn’t in the habit of praising God for even the “bad” things—“giving thanks always for all things to God.” 1 I also wasn’t in the habit of looking for the good in everything.
But after I read my friend’s post, I was reminded that the little daily things—a sandwich, a shower, a sunset, an encouraging word from a friend, a walk—are all events that are worthy of thanks. Previously I’d always waited for a “biggie” before I would become ecstatic—like the first time I flew on an airplane as a child, or when I attend a class reunion, or the day I will meet my future wife or become a father or find buried treasure on a South Sea island. But that’s a lot of waiting and a lot of missed chances to be ecstatic when I could and should be truly happy and thankful to God, even if I’m just eating breakfast in the morning or receiving an email from my mom.
That’s easier said than done, you might say—and you’d be totally right. But the cool thing about reading my friend’s post was that it clicked with me that I could indeed be grateful for the same things that she was and instantly adopt the same “gratitude attitude.” Once you start, it becomes automatic.
So let me remember my own words when I’m stuck in downtown traffic tomorrow, or when I’m under the weather, or when one of my coworkers is getting on my nerves. Those annoyances won’t matter. I can rejoice and be glad in those times too, when I determine to see beauty in everything that comes my way, and “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will.” 2
- Ephesians 5:20, emphasis added
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV