Hannah Butler knows she has a lot to be grateful for as, in her teenage years she was homeless for a while. Here, she explains the role gratitude to God has in helping our mental and spiritual health and encourages all of us to say thank you to the Lord this Thanksgiving.
When I was a teenager, I was homeless for a short period of time. Some of that was due to family issues and some due to my own bad choices. That period of my life changed me forever. For one thing, it led me to salvation and knowing my Lord and Saviour. But I also learned the importance of what it truly means to be thankful.
It’s easy to fall into discontentment in this day and age because everywhere we turn there is another ad selling some kind of product that we “absolutely need”, according to a company's sales driven motives. But the beautiful truth is that; because of Christ we have all that we need. Hebrews 13:5 KJV says: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
We so easily forget all the blessings that surround us when we want for more. It’s not that we can’t have desires and dreams, but its when they consume us to a point that we are discontent and ungrateful that it becomes an issue. It causes you to live in a miserable state and can lead to depression when your eyes are fixed on what you don’t have instead of what you do have.
When you delibratelty thank God for what you do have, there is no room to focus on what you don’t have.
Because we are human, we are susceptible to taking our eyes off of Christ. I have found a Biblical remedy for when we fall into this miserable state of mind. It can be summed up as this: “Contentment grows where thanks is given”. When you delibratelty thank God for what you do have, there is no room to focus on what you don’t have. So, the next time you find yourself spiraling into that vicious thought cycle, immediately thank God for something. When you are consumed with a new sofa you want so badly but know you can’t have right now; pray and thank God for your current sofa and do it consistently. I promise you this will take your focus off it and will also please the Lord.
Remember how I told you I was homeless at one point? Well, I remember one year my mom was living in a hotel and we had Thanksgiving dinner there. It was all microwaved food, but it didn’t matter because we were together. Missing a few holidays without your loved ones will teach you really quickly just how important it is to be together. It’s not about the huge, perfect meal or decorations but the love you share that can never be bought or replaced.
I remember standing in the shower and just crying and thanking God for running water.
After I got saved and my living situation changed, I remember standing in the shower and just crying and thanking God for running water. I remember crying that I had a working toilet and thanking God for it. I remember crying over a full fridge of food that I had access to at any time. I remember my very first Thanksgiving that I was saved I sat down and typed out on my computer how grateful I was for Jesus and not only his gift of Salvation, but his wonderful peace and how everything about him was everything I was missing in life and more.
God has truly given us so much. We don’t need more stuff we need to give more thanks to the One who owed us nothing, yet he gave us everything! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and may you see how God has richly blessed you.