Ava PenningtonBy Ava Pennington3 Minutes

Ever feel as if you’re unappreciated?

It’s happened to most of us. And it’s happening even more often.

  • Employees are doing the work of two or three people as coworkers resign due to virus fears or are laid off due to economic stresses on businesses.
  • Moms may have been thrust into the role of reluctant homeschool teacher.
  • Teachers are expected to teach both physical and online students, with all the inherent technological glitches.
  • Pastors, church employees, and volunteers are working diligently to continue worship opportunities despite the criticism they face: if they meet physically, they’re being reckless; if they meet online, they’re being unduly fearful. No matter what they do, they can’t win.
  • Maybe you’re the go-to person at work for a particular task because no one else does it as well. Perhaps you’re the one in your family who takes care of everyone else, but no one makes time to take care of your needs.

It hurts, doesn’t it?

But have you stopped to consider that we often treat God as unappreciated, too?

He gave us air to breathe, hearts that pump, and eyes that see. He meets our needs today, yet our prayer tomorrow will sound the theme of “what have you done for me lately?” Most important of all, He restored us to eternal relationship with Him through faith in Christ, yet we gripe if our prayers for temporal things aren’t answered the way we want in the time we want.

Giving thanks has been a regular part of my quiet time with the Lord. But too often I spent weeks, months, or even years, praying for something and when the answer came, I gave a quick thanks and moved on to other requests. Then someone challenged me to thank God for at least as long as I prayed for a request. If I prayed for something for months, do I thank God for at least as long? What a difference this practice has made in helping me maintain a consistent attitude of gratitude!

Here’s a challenge: each day for the remainder of this month, thank God for one person you’ve never previously thanked Him for. Keep a running list for the month. Be sure to consider people you frequently overlook in your daily routine.

But don’t stop there. Take a moment during the day to thank that person for their role in your life. Your gratitude can be communicated in person, by email or text, or even better: with a handwritten note.

Let’s be intentional about cultivating Thanksgiving, not just in November, but year-round!

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