When I was growing up, my family had a tradition that used to really bug me. At Thanksgiving and the New Year, when we sat down for dinner, my dad would ask each of us to share something for which we were thankful. (In my teenage mind I’m sure I was thinking, “I’m thankful that there will be a day when I don’t have to do this every year.”)
What do you think it was that bothered me about this tradition? I’ll be honest… a lot of my life was spent thinking about what I wished I had or how I wished my life was different. Life pretty much revolved around my contentment or lack of it. When dad had us share something for which we were thankful, it highlighted that deep down I wasn’t very grateful or thankful. It shined a little light on a dark place in my heart, and that wasn’t comfortable…but it wasn’t without effect.
The traditions and recurring values that we emphasize in our families impacts our children and this one, from our family, influenced me. Reflecting on the trustworthiness of the Father became more than just a holiday tradition; it became a powerful tool of spiritual warfare. The recounting of God’s faithfulness and provision is a biblical principle that defeats our flesh and the spiritual attack of Satan that would lead us into discontent. (Can you hear the Count Your Blessings song in your head?…) I’m not talking about the merely secular principle of positive thinking, I’m talking about the biblical principle of renewing our mind, giving God room to remind us of his character, love and faithfulness. Be still for moment. Ask the Lord to remind you of his goodness. Ask him to grow a heart of thankfulness in you.
On the adventure with you,