I was browsing a gift shop recently with a friend and saw this sign: GRATITUDE TURNS WHAT YOU HAVE INTO ENOUGH. The quote was not attributed to anyone. It just hung there, cut out of metal, showing the wood of the wall through the cut-out letters. It stopped me in my tracks with a sudden punch right to my gut.
Logically/mentally I know that gratitude is important. Actually, I think it is more than important. I would even go so far as to say it is critical to our well-being and to our relationship with God and others. But emotionally it has been something I struggled with during different seasons of my life. And honestly – I am in one of those seasons right now.
I have everything to be thankful for - and yet - I am not always thankful. I am embarrassed and somewhat ashamed to admit this. I was not planning to write about this today but I guess God had other plans than the topic I had picked (writing on a couple of verses we are praying over our daughter this week).
Let me state, for the record, that I know I have many, many, many things to be thankful for – a God who loves me, a Savior who died for me, a good marriage, healthy children, a roof over my head, gainful employment, good friends & loving family around me. We have cars that run, air conditioning when it is hot & heat when it is cold, medical care when needed, and the income to buy what we need. The list could (and should) go on and on (every single day of my life).
I can lose my “attitude of gratitude” when I get too focused on what I do not have instead of what I do. I lose it when I am too busy or I do not get what I want or we have an unexpected financial setback or . . .or . . . or . . . What causes you to lose your “attitude of gratitude?”
Before Oprah and gratitude journals and Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts there was the Bible telling us repeatedly to give thanks. Not just to give thanks but who to direct our thanks to. Psalm 106:1, Psalm 107:1. Psalm 118:1, Psalm 118:29, Psalm 136:1 and 1 Chronicles 16:34 all say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever . . .”
When I drill it down gratitude is about my relationship with God as the great provider. James 1:7 tells us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father . . .”
Precious Father – Please forgive me for my discontent. Help me to give thanks to you Lord, with all my heart and tell of all your wonderful deeds (Psalm 9:1). May I follow your will for my life by making a choice to give thanks in all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:8). Amen.