Thankfulness or Blessing, Which Comes First?

Of course, if I were sitting by a beach, in warm summer temperatures, oh how thankful my little heart would be. I would take a selfie of my feet in the sand by the surf and definitely post to insta. You’d all wish you were me. #blessed

That’s a familiar look of thankfulness.

I’m wishing for that kind of thankfulness this morning, which is the farthest place from where I am.

Running late, I’ve lost my last token. I scrounge for coins in piggy banks and pant pockets. I wait too long for a crowded bus, inhaling exhaust fumes, and I know I look frazzled and fuzzy, my hair a victim of the one hint of nature on this city block, the soggy after-rain. Where’s #blessed this grey day?

Yet there is a stirring in my soul that there is nowhere else I’d rather be, surrounded by humanity and unknown possibilities, a strong sense that God is here. A stranger smiles at me and it’s the final push from frustration to thankfulness. I would be thankful for it all.

We herd ourselves onto the bus. A young girl, about 11 or 12, offers me a seat. This grey hair is working out quite nicely, I think to myself. She listens to her friend talk poorly about someone else and she commits an act of bravery by defending the person in question. All the young ones get off at the same bus stop. She’s the only one who says thank you – a big cheery one – to the bus driver. Such simple acts, but her beauty was strong. I wanted to follow her to school. Will you be this middle-aged woman’s friend, oh young one?

Did thankfulness help me spot this ray of sunshine? She fertilized the seed of thankfulness we all had in us – the mood of the bus shifted because she was in it. What influence! Who knows the ripple effect she’s had today!

The supernatural power of thankfulness is that it attunes us to the good things in our midst – which perpetuates our gratitude, because there are good things everywhere.

We can miss the good things – we can go to that #blessed beach – and miss the #blessing because we lack a heart of thankfulness.

We expect to be thankful because of the blessings, but it’s not a given. The blessings – God’s goodness – were there before we ever noticed, but it is our thankfulness that reveals them to us.

The greater our thankfulness, the greater God’s goodness that we see.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

It is God’s will that you see and celebrate the good things all around you.

Grey morning bus stop

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