“The best way to show my gratitude to God is to accept everything, even my problems, with joy.”
In 1965, the Rolling Stones released a song called “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” In a culture where there seems to never be enough, contentment is an inner attitude that is beyond reach. Luke chapter nine describes a story where there wasn’t enough. Five thousand men listened to Jesus all day and were healed by Him. But when it came time for them to eat, all they had were five loaves of bread and two fish.
The secret to satisfaction is found in Luke 9:16-17: “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” Instead of looking at the overwhelming problem and staring at His lack, Jesus focused on what He had, thanked His heavenly Father, and gave the food away. The outcome: they all ate and were satisfied.
So often I look at my difficulty and focus on my lack: not enough time, talent, resources or energy. The end result is discontentment as I complain, whine, camp on the negative, and play the role of a victim.
In order to find true contentment, I need to do what Jesus did. When a visible solution was not in sight, He paid attention to what He had, no matter how small it might be, and thanked His Father for it. Then He gave it away so others could be blessed. Likewise, even though I may not be the most talented writer, when I thank God for the gift He has given to me and give that away, then I’ll reap the benefit of contentment.
It’s the same with the overwhelming, never-see-an-end-in-sight task of decluttering so we can move into a smaller house. Instead of looking at all I need to do and my lack of physical energy, I need to focus on what I have and can do, and then be thankful.
When we think we don’t have enough or aren’t enough, then we need to look up to heaven to the One who is enough, and give thanks. And as we give away what we do have, satisfaction will be ours.
“Gratitude to God makes even a temporal blessing a taste of heaven.”
Where is your gaze? On what you lack, or on Jesus, the One who is enough?
In what present difficulty do you need to look up to heaven and give thanks?