It is easy to take things for granted. Food, clothing, and family. But the real secret to happiness is to embrace and enjoy these everyday things with gratitude and thanksgiving. To appreciate the great privilege of being alive.

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon admonishes us to enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given you under the sun. And there are many places in Paul’s writing where he encourages the same.

We tend to take as a given what we already have while taking great annoyance (sometimes even offense) at what we lack. If we are not careful, we can spend our entire day (and even our entire lives) missing what is in our hands and chasing what is beyond our grasp.

Paul implores us in this verse to take on the posture Solomon recommended about marriage. Be thankful. Be appreciative. There is so much right in front of us. If we see it for all it is worth, we will be empowered to steward it well. When we take things for granted, we neglect them and their potential in our lives, thus compounding our misery.

Living with appreciation is our reward in life and in our toil which we have labored under the sun. We should work hard, love well, and embrace life with gratitude. This leads to enjoyment. We will never have it all and life is not about how much we have. It is about how we steward and treasure that which we encounter.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:18