“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I’ve always loved summer. There’s something wonderful about jumping in a cold lake on a hot day, road trips to the beach, bonfires at night, lightning bugs and long, sunny days.
Then again, I love the fall. The air gets crisp, pumpkin spice and apple caramel are everywhere, and there’s nothing quite like crunching a vibrantly orange leaf under the sole of your cute brown boots. Oh…and then there is football, need I say more?
But as much as I love fall, there is something beautiful about winter, too. The snow and the exciting rush of Christmas shopping, ski trips, cookie exchange parties, and Christmas lights and music everywhere, you can’t help but feel festive. Not to mention, the expectation leading up to Jesus' birthday is one of the most exciting times in all the year. And then Christmas gives way to the New Year, and there’s the promise of new beginnings - I must say, winter is pretty great too.
Then again I can’t forget spring! Between the blooming flowers, opening day for baseball, warmer weather, the glorious celebration of Easter and (one of my personal favorites) my birthday, I must say, spring is pretty darn wonderful as well.
The truth is, there’s something beautiful in every season.
In the same turn, there are some yucky things about each season. Summer inevitably means bug bites, sweat and (for us Southerners) humidity…oh the humidity.
Fall means, technically, that all the beautiful plant life around us is dying, our football team may lose the big game, and why on earth is it already dark at 7:30pm?
And then there is winter. As magical as winter may seem, it can also be so miserably cold, pretty snow can turn to nasty freezing rain, and Christmas may hold a few more sad memories, than exciting.
And spring, spring for this Tennessee girl means allergy upon allergy upon allergy. Pollen is not my friend, people. Ugh, spring, you get me every time.
See, the real truth is, there is something beautiful…and terrible in every season.
The same thing applies to our lives. It is so easy for me to just focus on the hard things in my seasons. I forget to see the beauty and what the Lord is teaching me through each thing I experience. This outlook breeds unrest, ungratefulness and discontentment.
Because life will not be perfect until we get to heaven, and just like I have to deal with the pollen to see the blooming flower, if I want to have joy, I must learn to be thankful in all things.
What if we are meant to see Jesus through the good and the bad, the beautiful and the terrible? And what if we are supposed to trust Him and (dare I say) thank Him in the midst of every season?
When our hearts are grateful, no matter what season we are in, we are worshippers. This gratefulness not only brings glory to Jesus, it changes our hearts too.
It’s true, some life seasons are harder than others. Some seasons seem to last forever and are flat out painful, other seasons seem to go a bit smoother and God’s favor seems a little more apparent.
Wherever we are, let’s notice the beauty that surrounds us in every season. We can choose to see our season beautifully, like sunshine and butterflies in summer. Or, we can choose to see our current season terribly, like sunburns and bee stings. Let’s choose to see our season as it is, and then optimistically turn our thanks to our Heavenly Father who has a purpose for the sunny and the rainy season.
Today on Instagram, I shared a cute little photo of my coffee in front of an adorable coffee shop that said, “Dutch doors, afternoon coffees and 70 degree weather. It’s the little things.” That may seem like a small little post you see all the time, however I needed to write down those 3 things. The truth is, I wore the wrong shoes to explore the little town we were in and my feet hurt, my financial situation majorly leaves something to be desired and it was heavy on my heart, and I just found out that my car needed an expensive part fixed. I needed to remember the little things our sweet Jesus gives me each day, so I can be grateful in a season that may be a little harder than I would choose.
So today, I challenge you to write down 3 things you are thankful for. They don’t have to be profound, they can be simple, but notice the good and the beautiful, in your current season, even if all you feel like all you can see is the terrible.
But don’t just write down your 3 things today, keep writing down 3 things you’re grateful for throughout the rest of this month, and watch how the Holy Spirit will shift your perspective.
We serve a God who always deserves our worship and He always gives good gifts. There is always something to be thankful for.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17