Summary: It's not hard to be thankful for obvious things like God, our families or our health, but what about things that might not be obvious like food, shelter and clothing? And then there are the things that we wouldn't be thankful for at all...but should be.
GIVING THANKS FOR THANKLESS THINGS
It's not very hard to be thankful for obvious things like our families, our health, or the blessings that come into our lives. But what about the things that we might not think of so easily, like the roof over our head, the clothes on our back and the food in our stomach? These things can become thankless things to us.
And then there are some things we might not think of at all-mainly because we don't consider them things to be thankful for at all. Let's take a look at some of the 'thankless' things in our lives that we should be thankful for.
1) Things we take for granted.
It's very easy to take everyday things for granted. We often don't think about the fact that we can walk or hear or see; we typically pay it no mind. That is, until we come across someone who doesn't have those privileges.
[Story about the man putting on Enchroma glasses to be able to see color for the first time].
The things we take for granted are realized for the treasure they are when we see someone who doesn't have them. We take for granted our ability to walk until we see someone in a wheelchair. We take for granted the ability to see or hear until we come across a blind or deaf person. We don't think of thanking God for the everyday privileges we have until either we see someone who doesn't have them or else when they are taken from us. We don't know what we've got 'til it's gone.
One of the things we take for granted are people. We just assume they will always be there so we don't think to be all that vocal about how special they are to us. We take for granted their friendship and kindness; we take for granted the special things they do for us and all the love they show us.
Beth and I try to do that for each other. We thank each other for doing the mundane things like laundry or dishes or taking out the trash. Yet at the same time I fall short in thanking her for taking care of the shopping and the finances. The problem is I think of it from time to time but fail to verbalize it. People want to feel loved and appreciated so if you're thankful for someone in your life please tell them.
Paul did that. In letters to the Corinthians and Colossians and the Thessalonians you will find him saying, "I thank God for you". For instance, this is what he said in 1st Thess. 3:9, "How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?"
Can you imagine what that must've done to those Christians to have Paul write that about them? What would it do for you if someone you cared about said this to you? "I can't thank God enough for you; for all the joy I have because of you." Paul didn't hold back in expressing his thankfulness to people and we shouldn't either.
But even more than just verbally saying 'thanks' we need to show that we're thankful. Send a card, buy a gift, take them somewhere nice-show people that you appreciate them. It's easy to take things and people for granted; it's easy for these things to become thankless things.
We're either not mindful of them or if we are we're not expressing thanks for them. That's why it's so important that we say and show our gratitude for the small things that really aren't so small and the people who are really more significant than we will ever truly realize.
2) Hard work.
It's typical for us to complain about our jobs. And if your work is stressful or difficult you might find even less to be thankful about. The job is demanding, the pay is minimal and the boss never acknowledges your hard work. So, you come home every day just glad that it's over.
Even if you're a stay at home mom you may still find yourself dealing with the same thoughts-the job is demanding, the pay is minimal and no one ever thanks you for a job well done.
And then there are the things in life that don't come easy. You give your blood, sweat and tears, countless hours of time and sacrifice for the things that come easier to some other people. It's not fair. Why should I bust my hump when the brown-noser gets the promotion over me? What's the incentive to work hard when my annual raise amounts to peanuts? What's to be thankful about in any of that?
Ecc. 5:18-20, "Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart."