A Thanksgiving Headache

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.– 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT

I thank God for my headache.

Yes, you read that sentence correctly. And, no, I am not crazy. Let me explain….

Last week, I allowed myself a rare indulgence – a delicious cup of hot chocolate. The next day, my head starting throbbing, so I assumed the sugar and caffeine were to blame. However, when the pain persisted over the next several days, I asked God, “What is going on here? What are you trying to show me?”
For the past month or so, I’ve been studying about joy. Through books I’m reading, conversations with others, and various Scripture passages, I’ve sensed the Lord challenging me in this area. I’ve especially felt convicted about my tendency to grumble or complain instead of having a thankful heart. My prayer has been, “Lord, show me how to give thanks in all circumstances.”
It’s easy to be happy when things are going smoothly. However, it’s another thing entirely to thank God for challenges, trials, and heartaches. So you see, my headache, although annoying and painful, has actually been an answer to my prayers and is working to make me more like Jesus.
God has shown me that giving thanks is a discipline, one that needs to be practiced daily. Like any discipline, it requires determination, which means you give thanks whether you feel like it or not. As you do, you cannot help but overflow with joy as you focus on who God is and all He has done for you!
I’ve tried to put this principle into practice over the past week, despite the persistent pounding in my head. Although I cannot say I’ve been 100% smiles, I can say God has helped me to maintain an attitude of gratitude. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I’ve tried to focus on the many blessings in my life. I’m choosing to put my faith in God and trust Him to bring good out of this situation, and you know what? He already has.