Choosing Gratitude In the Middle of a Season I Hate
I hate winter. Snow is pretty, but not for very long. I hate feeling trapped inside by the cold, and I long for walks around our small town as the sun sinks beneath the horizon. That longing for fresh air pulled me outside last week. Negative temperatures and illness kept me from leaving the house for several days in a row. So when the windchill almost reached freezing, I pulled on two pairs of pants, an extra sweatshirt, my heavy coat, boots, and gloves and stepped outside.
The fresh air hit my face and bit at my skin. But with each step, gratitude filled my heart. Because even in the middle of the season I hate, I felt grateful to be outside in it.
There is always something to be grateful for, right?
I don’t always like that phrase, especially when I’m in the middle of a season I hate. But just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean it’s not true. There IS always something to be grateful for—sometimes I just don’t want to look for it.
Sometimes, I need Paul’s reminder, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
I handle these words better knowing they come from Paul, who was beaten, shipwrecked, abandoned, imprisoned, and mocked. When he says it, it doesn’t feel like a trite comment aimed at an ungrateful heart. Coming from him, it feels like encouragement from a friend who’s been there. I can feel the compassion in his voice. His empathy bleeds through the pages of my Bible because I know he’s been in the middle of seasons he hates, seasons with challenges far greater than my own.
And so I’ll read them again and again and again when I’m in the middle of seasons I hate. Because I need these words. I need to be reminded to rejoice, to invite Jesus into my ungrateful heart and ask Him to help me look for the reasons to be grateful.
I’m struggling to be grateful right now. I need You. Help me to see that even in this place I hate, I can rejoice in Your love and presence. Help me find reasons to be grateful. I know they are here. I know You have already provided them. Help my ungrateful heart to see them. Thank you for never giving up on me.
In Jesus’ Name,
*Want to join me in meditating on God’s Word this week? Save these words as your lock screen. Write them on a notecard and place them somewhere you’ll see them during your day. Throughout the week, recite them to your kids, your spouse, or a friend. When we focus on His word, He will use it to produce results in our lives.