Thursday, February 2, 2023

What Do You Take For Granted?


By: Donna Bucher

I had an interesting conversation this week with someone. The conversation centered on our raised awareness regarding things we often take for granted. Certainly, living through a pandemic highlighted aspects and privileges of our lives we never thought about losing.

Just think about the countless things we take for granted everyday regardless of whether a pandemic exists or not.

Naturally our conversation lingered on gratitude; expressing our agreement we had much for which to thank God. Ever the rebel, I commented that we should even be thankful for the pandemic!


Startled by their remark, “We don't need to be thankful for anything we didn't ask for; good or bad.” I shared a little from one of my recent posts, "Gratitude For What Remains", where I talk about grief recovery, re-framing life after loss, and gratitude.

Unfortunately, they continued pushing the view we need only express gratitude for things which please and bring happiness.


I found the whole conversation troubling. Saddened by such a selfish view of gratitude, I wondered, “how intentional was I in giving God thanksgiving?”

Then I came across this quote on Pinterest: What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?" 

Wow! If the ingratitude of the person in my encounter troubled me, the above quote finished me off.

Bringing me up short, there in the midst of my judgmental attitude, I came face to face with my own ingratitude.

What if I did wake up tomorrow with only those things, I thanked God for today? What did I thank God for today?


“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18


Ultimately, we often thank God for simple things, especially when everything goes our way. But as the Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, God expects our thanksgiving in all circumstances.

Paul’s teaching takes gratitude a step further in Ephesians 5:20:

“Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 5:20


Perhaps offering God thanksgiving in all circumstances and for everything is not an area of struggle for you, but I know I often neglect thanking God for my family, my job, home, and certainly for my trials.

When we fail to give thanks for our circumstances or things God allows in our lives, we not only demonstrate ingratitude, but we “take them for granted”.

Guilty of taking many things "for granted". I looked up the phrase to put the meaning in front of my eyes.

Here's what taking something for granted implies: "to never think about something because you believe it will always be available or stay exactly the same. Some comments added, "to never express gratitude for".


How such an attitude in His children must pain God.

Because on a deeper level, it demonstrates a belief of always having certain things or situations, or our lives will remain the same, with no regard for the loving Father whose Presence provides them.

I hope you'll join me this week and take a good look at things you may take for granted and realize they may not always be available or stay the same.

And remember, one of he things we often take for granted is the power of gratitude. When you are thankful for something, even something unpleasant or unrequested, you and your situation experience a transformation.

A heart full of gratitude sees all of life with eyes of wonder.

"Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings."

William Arthur Ward

Reflection Questions:

In what ways can you be more grateful in all circumstances?

Which things do you tend to “take for granted” as per our definition above?

Find more encouragement and FREE Resources at Serenity in Suffering!


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  1. Gratitude changes us, not the circumstances. So true! My devotion today was focused on contentment and how God provides all that we need in every moment. Our work is to turn toward Him in all things! It isn't easy, but I'm glad His ways bring peaceful contentment in all our circumstances.

  2. Lynn, gratitude plays a big role in contentment! Turning to Him in all things helps us increase our dependency on the only One who can truly meet our needs!


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