Being Thankful When I Was Not Feeling Thankful
DATE POSTED: 10/31/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Recently, on a Sunday morning, I was watching the national news before I went to church. Just before they were going to a break, I heard they would be offering meditative strategies on how to deal with the pandemic. That caught my attention. I wanted to hear their suggestions. After the commercial, the reporter interviewed a yoga specialist who shared how this form of exercise could help one overcome the blues of COVID. The next guest was a psychologist who talked about freeing one’s mind. The last guest was a Buddhist woman who specialized in transcendental meditation. At the conclusion of the story, I was grieved that a minister was not interviewed. I was flabbergasted that the eternal solution was not even considered.

This week I struggled with my own COVID-19 blues. As I thought about how to move beyond my depressing thoughts, I did not consider yoga or transcendental meditation as a lasting solution. My mind was driven to the month of November being a time of Thanksgiving. I then realized I had not spent enough time being thankful, so I began a period of focused attention on scripture, listening to worship music, writing in my journal, and praying.

SCRIPTURE
I began with a Concordance and looked up verses with the phrase “give thanks” in them. God’s Word ministered to my soul with these verses:

  • Psalm 95:2 – Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
  • Psalm 30:4,5 – Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. 
      • Thank you, Father, that your anger does not last.
      • Thank you that your favor lasts a lifetime
  • Psalm 97:12 – Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!
  • Psalm 105:1 – O give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
  • Psalms 107:1 – Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
  • Psalms 136:1-3 – Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the LORD of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever,

MUSIC
I took time to listen to some worship music. I chose instrumental worship music.  This is not what I normally listen to, but I found it to be a source of refreshment.

Psalm 92:1 says, It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.

The text in Psalm 92 reminded me that singing praises makes a difference. Singing scripture and worship songs renewed and uplifted me.

JOURNALING
While reading scripture and listening to music, I took time to write down things I was thankful for about God. I also listed the names of people in my life for which I was thankful. I took time to record blessings I had experienced, even in the midst of so much discouraging news. This activity completely changed my attitude.

PRAYER
Each of these activities led me to praise God in prayer. I prayed for those that have been a blessing in my life. My depressing thoughts changed, and I had a thankful heart that impacted everything else I did that day.

As we approach Thanksgiving, let’s remember to take time to meditate and be thankful. These four elements will enable us to move from the blues to blessing, from depression to thankfulness.  Slowing down, reading scripture, listening to worship music, journaling, and taking time to pray made a tremendous difference for me…and I’m sure it will for you as well.  Give it a try!

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