Diary of a Real Mama

One mom's endeavour to become an authentic woman of God

10,000 Reasons

on October 12, 2013

I was feeling eager to get this up on the blog because I felt the topic was so fitting for this Thanksgiving weekend. But I will try to keep this short and sweet so you can go enjoy some pumpkin pie 🙂

About a year and a half ago, I had the privilege of reading the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  If you haven’t had a chance to read this book, I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s a great read that chronicles the author’s pursuit of a life lived in gratitude and her endeavor to document 1000 reasons to be thankful. I was reminded of that book some months later by the lyric I found myself singing in church: ‘For all your goodness I will keep on singing, 10,000 reasons for my heart to find’. That’s a lot of reasons! ‘Could I even think of that many?’ I wondered. And the Holy Spirit whispered, ‘Will you at least try?’

As Christians, we speak a lot about discerning and obeying the will of God, and for good reason. In 1 John 2:17 we read that whoever does the will of God lives forever. And 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us that the will of God is for us to give thanks in all circumstances.  Did you get that? All circumstances. And before you get all ‘Easier said than done!’ on me, notice that it says in all circumstances, not for all circumstances. I don’t think God is asking us to be thankful for all things because He knows that bad things happen. Really bad things. Abuse. Divorce. Sickness. Death. And these are not things to be thankful for; these things grieve His heart as well. But I truly believe that even in the worst of conditions, we can find something to be thankful for, and this is what God desires of us, so that we don’t become hardened by anger and bitterness.

Not that this comes naturally (am I the only one who finds it so much easier to default to complaining and grumbling?) But we need to discipline ourselves to practice gratitude when life is good, so that we develop a habit that can sustain us when things aren’t so rosy. Sometimes we can’t see through the darkness of the here and now and we need to be reminded of all the good. By documenting all of the reasons we have to be thankful, we can return to these lists when we are so weighed down in the grittiness of life that our memory fails us and we lose our perspective.

I wish I could say I already had hundreds of reasons listed to be thankful. But I’m working on it. And I’m challenging you to start your own list: life’s little pleasures, attributes of God’s character, moments when His grace shines through. There doesn’t have to be a magic number, but I believe that making this a lifelong discipline can be instrumental in helping us to fulfill the will of God. After all, isn’t that what really matters?

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