Still, it would surprise me to think that you woke up this morning saying, “My, if I could just be a more thankful person, my life would be so much better.” Lack of gratitude rarely presents itself as a source of our problems. Yet I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve been thinking to yourself lately, “I’m tired of my husband being so inconsiderate of me. I work nonstop to be sure his needs are met, and he gives me so little back in return. I wish just once he would stop and realize that there are other people besides him in this house who have needs.” Or perhaps, “I’ve given my parents every opportunity to apologize for putting me in a situation where I was abused as a child. A simple ‘I’m sorry’ would help. But all I ever get are excuses and rationalizations, always passing the blame onto someone else. I just want them to care. I want them to acknowledge how hard this has been to live with and how much it has cost me. Why can’t they see that?” Or, “Honestly, I’m not sure I even know what I believe anymore. I’ve lost all desire to pray, or read the Bible, or serve the Lord in any of the ways I used to. It just doesn’t do it for me anymore. Going to church is a chore. All that spiritual zeal I used to have–people must have thought I was crazy. Maybe I was. I think everybody would be a whole lot better off if they just didn’t let God get their hopes up.” I don’t have to tell you that life hurts. If it’s not one of these few examples I’ve given, it’s a difficult child, a frustrating job, a serious (or perhaps just suspicious) medical issue, an in-law impasse. It could be a bad credit rating, a sleep problem, a lingering sin habit, maybe something as life-altering as a long, drawn-out divorce. Big. Small. Long-term. Everyday. There are so many things about our individual life experiences that occupy our thoughts, feed our fears, and add to our worries. Whether we’re out driving somewhere, or trying to sneak a nap, or attempting to pay attention to the pastor’s sermon, all this “yuck” hangs on us like a spider web we can’t seem to brush off.