Being thankful is so powerful, I’m surprised at how often I need to be reminded to do it. Recently I was struggling with anxiety because of some unanswered questions. I had been losing so much energy, joy, and mind-space to the fearful possibilities on which I was focusing. Fear is such a thief.
One good thing: I spent a lot more time with God because I knew I needed Him. He somehow kept patiently reminding me of what He’s told me hundreds of times before: Remember to be thankful.
Sometimes journaling helps. In an old journal I have written, in large, frustrated letters: “THANK YOU FOR GUACAMOLE.” It was clearly the only thing I could think of to be thankful for at that moment. Being thankful can be hard work, especially when we are stuck in a negative mindset. It often requires creativity. But I find that once I begin, it comes more easily, and can be fun once I get on a roll.
Being thankful changes our focus, helping us to realize we are not in charge. It digs us out of the trap of negative thinking. And I think there is also an element that can’t be easily explained in the natural — being thankful somehow changes the spiritual “air” around us, and intimidates the enemy of our souls.
Best of all, being thankful is like a GPS driving us in the most direct route to the Presence of the Father. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name” – Psalm 100:4. And from there, seeing Him more clearly without negative thoughts to blind us, we are more free to worship Him, and to just enjoy being near him. The enemy flees. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” – James 4:7. Being thankful is an excellent way to resist, and it brings freedom.