I’ve been noticing lately that no matter how much I have, I will always feel as though I am lacking something.
And you know what, it doesn’t matter how much “good” is going on around me, because I will zone in on that one thing that is going completely wrong.
And lately, this has been driving me crazy.
I’ve wasted so much time worrying about the appearance that I don’t have and the future that I really want. It gets to be pretty annoying, because as soon as my mind has free time to just think about anything, it immediately goes to the “stuff” that I lack.
One night in the shower (because that’s where all the deep thinking happens), I finally reached a point where I was sick of worrying over everything that I had zero control over.
I said, “Okay fine, God,” (He wins all our – well, my – arguments). I said, “You know what it is that I want, and only You know if I will have these things one day. But right now, help me to be thankful for what I already have, rather than wishing there was more.”
Since I was so sick of feeling sorry for myself, I decided that I was going to try something different. Every time that I started agonizing about this thing that kept controlling my every thought, I had an idea (an idea straight from God, I might add) that instead of worrying, I’d send a “thank you” straight up to heaven.
Now, I’m not talking about a random thank you that you can quick say and be done with.
When I told God “thanks,” I was thanking Him for the very thing that was stressing me out.
At first, it felt pretty weird (just being honest). Obviously, I wasn’t satisfied with what God had provided for me. I wanted MORE. So why on earth would I be thanking Him for it?
But you see… after a while, I had to come to terms with the fact that God isn’t concerned about giving me everything that I think I need.
He knows what I actually need, and He knows when I’m going to take a good thing and put it in front of Him. And in this instance, when I went to God, asking for the same thing over and over and over again, I became less concerned about growing in my relationship with Him and more concerned with me.
I was taking this good thing and placing it as a barrier between me and God.
So as I said, I began to give thanks for the little things that I wasn’t completely satisfied with.
It was crazy, because no more than a couple minutes passed (I’m still in the shower at this point), when suddenly this peace washed over me—and it spilled into the following day as well.
Giving thanks had given me a new perspective. I finally admitted my motives behind my requests to God; I admitted that I wanted something here on earth more than I wanted God himself.
And it was for this reason that I knew I had to make this change.
However, it didn't just stop there. A couple days later, I wanted proof that this idea of thanking God and becoming satisfied was actually biblical.
And you know what, I love the way God works… because maybe a week later, I read an assigned devotional in my Bible class at school. The author, Jonathan Cahn, wrote on the feeding of the 5000 (Matthew 14:14-21).
He reminded us that Jesus had two loaves of bread and five fish to feed well over 5000 people. But Jesus didn’t even break a sweat. When presented with the small meal, he lifted his gaze to heaven, gave thanks for the little he had, and watched as the blessing multiplied.
And not only did every person finish the meal satisfied, the disciples had twelve basketfuls of food left over in the end.
Logically, there was not enough food to feed the hungry crowd. But Jesus gave thanks nonetheless. And that, my friends, is the key.
I love what Jonathan Cahn says on this topic. He writes:
“You don’t panic, you don’t complain, and you don’t get discouraged over not having enough. You take the little you have, whatever good there is, no matter how small or inadequate it is, and you do what Messiah did. You lift it up to the Lord and you give thanks for it. And the blessing you have will multiply, if not in the world, then in your heart.”
This isn’t always easy, is it? It’s easy to panic, it feels right to complain, but neither of those options is necessary (or healthy).
Instead, we can give thanks.
We will not always see our blessings change in size or adequacy here on earth. I know that mine did not.
But it is an amazing thing when we can look at the little we have and know in our hearts that God has blessed us more abundantly than anything we could ever ask or imagine.