I was dusting in my bedroom the other day and it occurred to me that I had never thanked God for that room, not even once.
You see, I don't like my bedroom. We have repairs to do in one of the corners of that room and those repairs have prevented us from ever painting the walls in there and since we have never painted the walls, I haven't ever been able to decorate, and since I haven't ever been able to decorate, I've never taken any pride in that room. And, so, I had also never been thankful for my bedroom.
I guess I was subconsciously putting off my thanks until the room was finished, until it looked the way I wanted it to, until it was perfect, naturally. But, as I was cleaning in there, I felt God's Holy Spirit urge me to, "Thank me for this room." I took heed of God's voice and tried to obey right away, but it was difficult to be thankful in that room because of the obvious eye sores where the repairs needed to be made, but I started finding reasons to thank God anyway.
For one, I was thankful because my bedroom is the place where Dwayne and I make love. I also said "Thanks" for the beautiful furniture we have in there. I thanked God for the years of memories as I looked at our keepsakes. I thanked God for all the changes in our lives as I looked at our photos.
Later that day, when I was thinking about how difficult it was to practice thankfulness over something I didn't really like about my life, I realized that people, in general, hesitate to give God thanks for something they don't like about their lives because they are afraid that if they thank God for it, whatever it is, it won't change.
At least, this was true for me in regards to my bedroom. I realized that sometime back I must have wanted God to know just how much I cared about my bedroom being fixed, so I was unwilling to budge about it, I was going to retain "control" and force God's hand by not giving thanks.
But, I am grateful for the Holy Spirit's gentle guidance to me over this. I realize now that by allowing my heart to remain thankless, even over something as trivial as my bedroom, I was actually refusing to be in right relationship to God over something (even something as trivial as my bedroom) and I was the one suffering for it. Thanklessness is dangerous. It can lead to bitterness, greed, lust, strife, anger...
That's why practicing thanks is so important. To get to thankfulness, we must force a change in our hearts and release our burdens to God. But, thankfulness is so critical because what comes immediately after we change our hearts and release our burdens to God is a renewed faith in God and a new hope from Him for the changes we seek.