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When you’re not feeling thankful

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I was sitting with my morning coffee, watching the colors outside our front window turn from black to grey to blue. It was peaceful, beautiful sunrise, but I was lost in my thoughts. News about a friend’s health diagnosis, the weight of the latest news story, and various unmet expectations pulled my thoughts in all sorts of directions.

This being Thanksgiving week in the U.S, we may feel the pressure to show gratitude and thankfulness. It’s the reason for the holiday! But what if we just aren’t feeling it? What if we are lost in the forest of pain, grief, confusion, and unanswered prayers?

King David of the Old Testament knew grief, loss, confusion, and unanswered prayers. He knew what it was like to be looked over (I Samuel 16:10+11), to wait years for a promise (15 years!), and the searing loss of a his best friend (I Samuel 31). However, despite all that, he is attributed for writing over 70 of the Psalms.

I love knowing that David wasn’t living on the mountain tops of life when he wrote some of these psalms. They were written in valleys and dark places. Yet, so often they are Psalms of thankfulness. David shows us that we can still be thankful even when everything feels against us. If you feel like this Thanksgiving is going to be a hard one to show gratitude in, then let’s look to the Psalms to draw thankfulness from.

Gratitude for His Provision
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3

Gratitude for His Faithfulness
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 107:1

Gratitude for His gift of Salvation
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, Who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. Psalm 103:1-6

Gratitude for His Unconditional Love
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.  Psalm 136:1

Which one of these resonates with you most? Do you have a favorite Psalm that you like to draw from when you’re lacking in gratitude?


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