Learning to be thankful …

“Then he said, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.’”

John 13:12-17 (The Message)


As we spoke about last time, God used the suggestion of starting a blessings journal to help me move in the direction from Eyeore taking up residence in my spirit to the return of Tigger-like qualities.

It didn’t happen overnight, though. It was a years’ long process that I’m still embarking on because like many other things in life that are worth pursuing, it involves a daily choice.

While God was working on teaching me how to fully trust Him, He also used various sermons at my church as well as blogs and even a necklace to remind me to “give thanks in all circumstances.”

Not when I wanted to be thankful. Not only when things were going right. But to give thanks in ALL circumstances.

That one was difficult for me. In fact, I’d be lying if I didn’t share that this past summer, even though I thought I had mastered this layer of the onion, I went through a period where I struggled with thankfulness in ALL circumstances yet again.


I share in Spoken from the Heart: His Plan, His Purpose the struggle I had as I embraced His timetable and His plan for my life instead of wanting things to go according to my plan, learning to be thankful for the process instead of impatient during the journey.


I’ve been dealing with an issue for the past three years now which I thought God would have “rescued me from” well over a year ago. It’s a situation that ebbs and flows – sometimes feeling overwhelming and as though I can’t take one more step and other times easing up some and giving me some breathing room, making me think, “breakthrough is coming soon.”

Throughout the ups and downs, my prayer has remained consistent and I’ve continued to pray for release. And yet here I sit. Day after day after day – thinking tomorrow, next week, next month I’ll be released and finally find freedom in this one area … and yet, day after day, week after week, month after month the situation doesn’t look as though it has changed.

This is exactly the type of situation in which God commands us to choose a thankful heart. Thankful for His blessings that shine brighter in dark situations than when things are going well. Thankful for how we can show a different, cheerful attitude during times of trouble than a complaining attitude like others who don’t know His love. Thankful that we can trust He is working behind the scenes even when we can’t see changes in the less-than-ideal situation we find ourselves in.

How about you, friend? Do you find it difficult to have a thankful heart in less-than-ideal circumstances? What is one thing you can say “thank You” to God for when everything around you screams there is nothing good happening?

Please reply and share with me. Sometimes, for me, the only thing I can be thankful for is I’m God’s child and He’s promised to be with me through every difficult situation, every single one.

© Cheri Swalwell 2018



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