Today marks one week since my husband, our son, and I moved into our new house in Indiana. I have been unpacking boxes non-stop it feels like and searching for things all the time saying, "I know it's somewhere around here... probably in a box." My body is sore and tired from lifting and moving and placing. I've been fighting a cold and sinus infection along with a one year old's teething and cold. My mind just wants to tune out from the unpacking and whining. Yes, I've complained. But I continuously am hearing God remind me through it all to just be thankful for my blessings.
The Bible talks about being thankful, giving thanks, and thanksgiving numerous times throughout Old and New Testament. David writes in Psalms, "I will give thanks to the Lord", "we will give thanks, for your Name is near", "give thanks to Him and praise His name." 1 Thessalonians says, "give thanks in all circumstances."
Philippians 4:6 spells out exactly when and how to be thankful, "Don't be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God." God knows us - He created us! He knows we will complain, whine, be tired, not be content, worry, etc. And so He says through The Word to come to Him with those anxieties and complaints, but to also do it with thanksgiving in our hearts. Thanksgiving is the "cure" or antidote to worry.
Being thankful reminds us of all the blessings we have. It's like flipping a switch in our heart. When we are complaining or worried, turing on that "thankfulness switch" is like God saying, "Remember when I took care of you in this time... see how wonderful your life is... look at all the blessings you've been given... do you know how much I love you and care for you?" It's hard to complain when we remember how much we've been given.
In the next few days, I'm challenging you: Every time you want to complain, even for the littlest reason, stop, flip that thankfulness switch, and remember the blessings you have given. Be thankful to be blessed.