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‘Tis the Season to Give Thanks: For Everything

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Last year in my prayer journal I decided to find five things every day for which I was thankful.  I thought that I would run out of things after a month or two, but I was surprised.  Five things just popped into my mind every morning as I wrote in my journal. 

At first it was my family, named one by one, then my friends, my blessings (which were many and varied) and physical things. As the days unfolded, strange things began to crop up in my mind, such as my character flaws. What was this? How could I be thankful for things that are wrong with me? As I thought about this, though, I realized that seeing myself as others saw me gave me a completely different perspective on things.

I could see others around me in different ways:  less judgmental and certainly with more kindness and consideration. I began, and I mean in tiny, little beginning steps, to see others as Jesus must see them. Then a ray of understanding hit me. God was revealing me to myself and showing me how he would like me to change!

I began to thank God for the irritations, hurts, wounds, and sorrows that are part of all our lives. If God allowed these things to come into my life, he surely must have planned on using them some way, either for my good or His Glory. This is a hard process and not at all one that I have mastered. I absolutely do not mean that I have become expert at this. I am learning day by day, in many small ways. I am a work in progress and have a long, long road ahead. But I rejoice in what is happening to me.

Loving Father, keep working to mold me more and more in your likeness and help me to always rejoice, to talk to you continually and to always thank you for what you are doing in me.

Pat Eppler 

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