Recently during one of my Bible study sessions, my small group leader shared how she was keeping a list of 1000 reasons to be thankful. As a side note, she is amazing and very inspirational! Check out her blog: http://justineamicia.wordpress.com/ . I was extremely intrigued by this and decided to join in on the challenge and keep my own list of reasons. I thank her for issuing this challenge because it has opened my eyes and heart to consciously notice ALL of the ways God is gracious towards me. So today I issue the same challenge to all of you!
I know it is not November, the month when we all publically like to share the many reasons we are thankful, but I am glad God doesn’t just show His goodness during one month o
ut of the year. So I shouldn’t just intentionally declare my gratefulness one month out of the year either.
Now I am sure this sounds like an easy challenge because God has been just that good, but I must say I am almost 100 reasons in and it gets harder every day to list different reasons I am thankful. So if you are up to the challenge here are some helpful guidelines to get the most out of this exercise.
- You must write every day.
Everyday God extends His loving arms to us and blesses us richly and greatly. So every day you must write the reasons you are thankful for that day. Try to write around the same time each day and keep your reasons in a journal or in a safe place to refer back to whenever you are feeling lonely or lost.
- Write only 10 reasons a day.
I have found it easier to only write 10 reasons of why I am thankful each day. I write them at the end of the day, because it allows for a time of reflection on that day. During my quiet time (I hope you have yours each day), I can reflect on God’s goodness for that day. It helps me to be reminded of all the little, medium, and big ways that He blesses me.
- Number your reasons.
Now I am sure you are saying, “Duh! Of course you should number your reasons.” Sometimes it just helps to have a reminder. Besides this allows you to keep track of how many you have done and know when you’ve reached 1000!
- Write 10 DIFFERENT reasons each day.
God gives us brand new mercies every day, so it is important that you only list a reason to be thankful once. Yes you may be thankful that God blesses you with another day every day that He does, but try to think of another reason why you are thankful for that particular day. Maybe that day is different because it’s raining instead of clear skies and sun, but you are still thankful for even the rain.
- Don’t get caught up with just listing obvious reasons to be thankful.
You may start off listing the obvious reasons you are thankful (i.e. family, friends, job, home, food, etc.). All of these things are very important because many people don’t have these particular blessings. But eventually once those items have already been acknowledged you will be forced to go deeper. You will be forced to look for God in every situation, especially those that are not desirable. This will cause you to see God is ways you never imagined. Not only will you be thankful for the obvious (almost expected) blessings, but you will also become thankful in the not so obvious, unexpected blessings. You will learn to find contentment in every situation and circumstance. You will see that all things work together for our good even the seemingly hard things in life.
I hope you are willing to accept this challenge and commit fully to all of the guidelines above. I would love to hear about your progress and all that God is revealing to you through this intentional time of thankfulness. Feel free to leave your comments on this blog so I can rejoice with you on all of God’s goodness! Happy Thanksgiving!
God is mindful.