rebelling against low expectations

What a Cold Shower Taught Me About Gratefulness


When you live in a family with six people besides yourself, “shower planning” is critical. In fact, the situation is potentially dire.

If your planning is slightly off, you might find yourself trapped in a bitterly cold shower that creates an intense and immediate desire to curl up in a ball, wrap yourself in approximately three blankets, and dwell beside a toasty, warm fire.

This topic is fresh on my mind since I found myself in this situation last week. My heart was at ease while I naively envisioned the hot shower I was about to undertake.

Alas, my aspirations were quickly dashed to smithereens as I stepped foot in what felt like the living room of an igloo. I had forgotten how cold a cold shower truly was, on account of my shower planning skills becoming rather “strong” over the past few years. Within moments of standing in there, chilled to the bone, I was honestly tempted to let this unforeseen setback ruin my day.

Ultimately, I decided against this. Instead, as cliché as it may sound, I decided to think of some good things concerning this cold shower. Three key ideas came to mind that fateful morning and I believe they’re worth sharing with you.

While you’re reading them, I want you to remember that these things not only apply to literal cold showers, but also to the “other cold showers” of life, as well. Whether it’s that you spilled a chocolate milkshake all over your favorite white shirt, your younger sibling cracked your new phone, or your dog really did eat your homework, it’s vital to keep these three things in mind.

1. It could be a lot worse.

I found myself realizing that if a cold shower was the worst thing that happened to me all day, I was incredibly blessed. There are so many people in this world truly suffering. A cold shower ain’t nothing.

When I started to think about this, believe it or not, I actually began to thank God for my cold shower. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we’re told to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Amazingly, when I did this, a paradox-like, genuine joy rose within my being.

This leads to the second thing to remember…

2. I have so many things to be grateful for.

My mind started racing with thoughts of gratefulness even while my teeth chattered in the cold water. Once a single thought took root, it wasn’t long before ten others branched off and a tree of thanksgiving formed. I just kept thinking, “Well, at least I can shower. At least I can clean myself. At least I have a warm, nice house to live and shower in. At least I have clean water. At least…”

And I didn’t keep my notions contained to my shower. “I have so much to be grateful for,” I mused. “A family that I love, good food, good friends…I have Jesus! Wow.”

It’s not too hard for any of us to find something to be grateful for. (If you need help thinking of something, here’s a hint: you’re alive, breathing, and reading this article right now. You are blessed indeed!)

3. God is working all things together for good.

In her song, “This is the Stuff”, Francesca Battistelli reminds us that God uses the mundane, everyday “annoyances” in our lives for good. Some of the lyrics are…

“This is the stuff that gets under my skin

But I gotta trust you know exactly what you’re doing

Might not be what I would choose, but this is the stuff you use.”

God takes the things in our lives that seem pointless and frustrating on the surface and turns them around for our good when we love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Hey, you wouldn’t even be reading this article if I hadn’t had that cold shower. I’d say my few minutes of “nippiness” were worth it.

God’s ways are higher than ours. Trust what it says in Psalm 119:68 about him: “You are good and do good”!

With all of this said, in the midst of your next cold shower, don’t forget that it could be a lot worse, you have a lot to be thankful for, and that God is working all things together for good. Really!

What are some other important things to remember when taking a cold shower?

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About the author

Liv Scott

is a 20-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her beloved parents and 4 younger brothers (whom she adores). Through her writing and music, she embraces sharing with the world her greatest love of all: her Messiah. She is passionate about believers worshiping in the fullness of both Spirit and Truth and making Jesus Christ their First Love.


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By Liv Scott
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →