I have not always been a grateful person. Sad to say, but it’s true. Gratitude to God was often overshadowed by the difficulties I felt he had brought me. Throughout the last 20 years or so, I have increasingly sought to be joyful in the Lord, seeking out all the means of grace I could find to put my soul in a state that would be one of rejoicing. Guess what? That lack of gratitude was always in the way of my joy in God. So I knew I had to begin viewing difficulty differently. It WAS God’s means of grace to me. It WAS the very thing I could rejoice in. And as I did begin rejoicing in the “hard” of life, joy became almost impossible to squelch. For, if NOTHING can seperate me from the love of God in Christ, then there is no limitation on when I can experience joy in Him. Therefore, gratitude also begins to have no opponents! Joy and gratitude for me go hand in hand. Delighting in everything…or at least savoring the nearness of God in everything, results in a heart so full of gratitude, I cannot help but express it. I noticed recently that gratitude had become a part of my life, without me even really being aware of it. As I pondered the reason, I realized it was because I no longer saw all the difficulties as ominous burdens that God had laid on me, but as more ways to be near to God. How can I not be grateful for that? Here is a snapshot of my recent journal entry about gratefulness. It is from Sept. 24.
“O Lord, I am Grateful, Grateful! to You! You alone have done all this…the beauty around me in nature and in your provision. I bless your name, O Lord. Your kindness knows no bounds. Life is sweeter. There are so many ‘visible’ gifts you’ve given. But how much more the INVISIBLE! Let your Spirit continue to well up in me that I might point to Christ at every chance.”
Somewhere in my pursuit of joy, I became a more grateful person. I pray this comes out in all I say and do, both privately and publicly. I’m celebrating Thanksgiving early this year. I’m having an October Thanksgiving. How about you?
I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive.” Ps. 69:30-32