rebelling against low expectations

Are You Grateful for Today?


Editor’s Note: Throughout the years, TheReb has published thousands of articles, each challenging and encouraging Rebelutionaries to do hard things and seek God. But among these posts, some have especially resonated with you, our readers. So over the next few weeks and months, we’re bringing back these classics, reposting our most popular and well-read articles every Thursday. May they encourage and remind you of God’s unchanging truth!

Today I was endowed twenty-four hours as a gift from a loving creator.

1,440 minutes.

86,400 seconds.

Whichever way you want to look at it, it’s a pretty generous gift.

I then posed this question to myself. How did I spend it?

Like many of the previous days, I spent my moments of today worrying about the past and lamenting the future. I spent it wishing away what I now can’t change. I spent it stressing out over what I don’t control.

It’s sad to think I could have been marveling at the way God designed my body to fight sickness as I blew my raw nose for the umpteenth time (thank you, cold and flu season). I could have been appreciating the beauty of the sun as it shone its setting rays through the lingering leaves in our maple tree.

I could have been thanking God for his mercy that was all new, just this morning. I could have been dwelling on the hopefulness in his promise of sanctification. However, I was too worried about the mistakes I made yesterday to be thankful for today.

I find that to be a problem in my life.

Not to say that we shouldn’t learn from the past. We should. And should we not plan for the future? Of course we should!

However, I have made my yesterdays and tomorrows an idol that was robbing me of joy, and that is wrong. These idols are stunting gratitude in my life.

I have held onto things that God has not intended for me to carry. I was taking up the “weights” the author of Hebrews talks about when I have been called to lay them aside (Hebrews 12:1).

Ultimately, I was dwelling on ME sinning instead of GOD forgiving.

I have feared things that God has told me not to worry over. Where I have been told to go to my Father and plead with him for my future, I have blatantly ignored him. Where he has promised peace, I have been a slave to worry (Philippians 4:6-7).

I think I’m ready to change that. I’m ready to be grateful for the things I am blessed with today.

I’m ready to be thankful for boxes of tissues. You know, the kind with the lotion in them? Tissues are definitely a blessing today.

I’m ready to be thankful for my home, and the warmth and comfort I find within the walls.

I’m ready to be thankful for the pumpkin spice candle that casts eerie shadows on the kitchen wall and permeates the rest of the house with seasonal smells.

Most importantly though, I’m ready to be thankful for God’s enduring promises.

As for yesterday, he has promised forgiveness for all my sins (1 John 1:9). Concerning tomorrow, I know that he holds the future in his all-powerful, yet caring hands. I don’t have to be afraid because he is with me (Isaiah 41:10).

That is why I am thankful for this day.

Twenty-four hours.

1,440 minutes.

86,400 seconds.

I’m not promised another. Neither are you.

With that in mind, I want to ask you this. Are you grateful for today?

Please, friend. Don’t waste it.

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About the author

Alathia Hayes

is a graciously forgiven college sophomore whose broken soul has been mended by the Author of life. She has a passion for helping children and other teens know how much they are loved. When she’s not studying, you will likely find her playing piano, sipping on a cup of coffee, perusing local used book shops, or participating in an epic round of Mario Kart with her brothers.


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By Alathia Hayes
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 →