I was recently teaching a lesson to my Kindergarten class on giving thanks. During this lesson, I read them a story about a teacher who had a class full of whiners, criers, and complainers. As adults, I’m sure you can think of some people who fit one of those categories. In my story, the teacher talks about how the closer and closer to Thanksgiving it got, the more grumbles came from the class. Students complained about the coats they had to wear, the food their mom packed in their lunches, and the other kids they had to sit next to. Finally, the teacher had enough. She did the one thing that she knew would make the most difference in the lives of her students. She prayed to God and asked Him to show her a way to help the students turn their grumpiness into thankfulness.
God spoke to her heart and encouraged her to go straight to his Word. I Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” The class then came up with a list of every little thing they could think of to be thankful for and sang songs praising and thanking God for everything. When they started to whine or complain, she turned them to God’s word and that little moment made a big impact.
After reading this story to my class, I looked up and realized God too had put this on my heart without me even realizing it. I had not read this story ahead of time or studied it, so I was amazed when I saw the similarities to my own life. In my class we have been creating a thankful tree and coming up with something different every day to tell God thank you for. I Thessalonians 5:18 was one of our previous memory verses. We have been singing songs about being thankful and giving God the glory always. What an amazing connection!
I can’t help but think of a newspaper clipping that my Grandpa has taped to his filing cabinet in the office of my family’s business. My Grandpa always has little articles or sayings written down and placed in different places around his business and his home. I always think of them as little reminders of how to live your life to the fullest. This clipping in particular talks about being thankful. I can’t remember it all but I do remember the gist and I’m sure you’ve read something like it too.
We should be thankful for the piles of dirty laundry because it means we have clothes to wear. We should be thankful for the parking spot at the end of the lot because it means we are able to walk. We should be thankful for that high heating bill because it means we’re warm. We should be thankful for the early mornings because it means God woke us up for another day.
There are so many things to be thankful for. Turn to God and His word during those times when you want to be a whiner, crier, and complainer. Jesus died for our sins and NEVER complained. What are you thankful for?