"Thank God I'm alive!" A person, who after going through a near-death experience, exclaims in his heart. Yes, this person was overjoyed with the fact that he still has his life preserved. And so, he thanked God. You may be one of those who experience seemingly unending plight with hardships; someone who has nothing left for yourself but a struggle for survival. But have you tried counting every single blessing you receive while surpassing each day of distress, and still able to say, "Good thing another very long day has ended, and I'm still breathing."
The small things received, the strength, and the lessons learned in winning over his problems are the priceless gifts that person is thankful about. On the other hand, terrible sights are the very reasons why others, if not all, no longer believe in the existence of God. There is no Yahweh, no Allah, not even Jehovah. God is but a product of imagination, they say. Hence, they consider gratitude unnecessary and the thanksgiving celebration stupid.
Genocides. War. Millions with empty stomachs. Mass layoffs. Devastating calamities. Epidemic. Sexual abuses. Disputes within homes. We see them in almost every corner of the Earth. These distressful events flash on our TV screens. We hear about them from the neighborhood. They are in the newspapers. And the internet is flooded with almost every sort of horrific stories. Now, do we still have anything to be thankful of?
Faithful Job penned, "Shall we accept merely what is good from God and not accept also what is bad" Job 2:10 This man, although, not knowing that it wasn't God who is giving him the trials, accepted bad things. After he has gone through intense trials, Job finally was freed from the devil's hand. Do you think Job had reason to thank God during his distress? Yes. God trusted him that he will remain faithful even when tempted extremely.
Like Job, our reasons to be thankful can be clouded with problems, too much loss and feeling of worthlessness. However, there are surely reasons to feel gratified. Maybe you have lost your job a month ago, and now can hardly find a new one. While your friends and their families enjoy delicious meals, you have to cut the already small food budget so that they might still have enough until you get a job. But think how blessed you are than those who have no other choice but sleep with a rumbling stomach. You may have lost your family in a calamity, but lots of other people showed you love. Your parents may have disowned you, but you can steer things to reconcile with them again. While you still have time and breath, things can still change. And then, you'll have more reasons to thank God.
However, people find it hard to see behind the dark clouds not just because their problems are too immense, but also for expecting big. When you have been earnestly praying for a one-time permanent solution to the overwhelming problems you have, but receive nothing, you get very frustrated. Is it not? If things don't work your way, then try something else. Why not consider counting the small things you received, which you actually didn't even ask for. Those are like simple cards you can put is a shoe box. Soon enough, you'll find out they outnumber the big ones; and see not a shoe box anymore, but a treasure chest. This works for me. And it helps me be thankful everyday.
By looking on the other side of your trials and always thinking positively, you will find more than enough reasons to be thankful. The thanksgiving season may not be a time for celebration because of your situation or some other reasons. A simple "thank you" never requires a specific season, though. Whenever you receive a small gift, a smile maybe, you should be thankful. Right now, at this very moment, you can simply close your eyes and utter a brief, "Thank You God."