Webster defines it: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation
We are reminded many, many times in the Bible to give thanks to God for the blessings that he has given us, but do we ever take the time to ponder how extensive these blessings truly are? As we sit around the table this Thanksgiving and name the many things that we thankful for, the list will include such things as family, friends, food, home, health, jobs…you get the idea. These are the “big ones,” the ones that stand out…prominent features. How often do we miss out on the less noticeable, hidden gems? Life can be so fast-paced. Often, we get caught up in the coming and going, so much to do. We fail to see it all. We miss what is right in front of us…so, so much beauty, wasted.
Have you ever taken the time to carefully listen, plan, shop, search, find the optimal gift? You wrap it meticulously in the PERFECT paper with the most stunning bow. You are giddy with excitement. You cannot wait to see the smile on the recipient’s face. The moment is here, the big reveal…only your gift gets lost in the crowd, the sea of gifts, the excitement, the noise, the commotion.
OR…it’s a gift to a child and they would rather have the box.
It’s crushing. It’s disappointing.
Sometimes I wonder…is God ever disappointed when I fail to see…when I don’t take notice…
What about sunsets, my friend. Those are for US!!! I feel like He is saying, “look, my child, at what I have created for YOU. I LOVE YOU!!” How often do I miss them?
Have you ever stopped to ponder the beauty found in the blues and oranges of a crackling fire as it dances and pops?
What about the song of a sparrow or chirping crickets? So unique. “Words” that only they can understand, but the foreign messages can be enjoyed by my ears as they call out to one another.
Oh, how wonderful and amazing…a single bubble. It rises slowly into the sky, a shining rainbow of color, from the tip of a wand, blown by a toddler…
That same, bubble-blowing breath, frosted on a wintery day?
Have you noticed the intricate detail that is painted on ladybug wings or the delicate, crystalline form of a snowflake?
Have you had the opportunity to study a grain of sand under a microscope? A grain of sand. A. Grain. Of. Sand. Oh, so alluring, brilliant.
Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.
- W. Tozer
It costs us nothing to be grateful. In fact, other than a grateful heart, what do we TRULY have to give? Time? Time is gifted to us, and it is so precious…how much are we given? We don’t even know. It can be gone from us in an instant.
Our talents and abilities? Again, blessings, gifted TO us.
We can use our time and talents to express our gratitude, but please never see them for anything less than what they are…they are blessings, given TO us. They can be lost or taken back at any time…
Friends, slow down…look. When I say look, I mean REALLY look. See!!! Realize how much thought and love went into the things that we daily take for granted. Life, your very being is a gift. You are a marvel…a creation of God, fearfully and wonderfully made. Take the time to seek the treasures of this world. Search every speck of your piece of this marvelous planet. Notice it all, reflect on it daily, and let your life be enriched by it.
I am thankful for…
like new life and new love
like saying goodbye, but knowing we will meet again
like childish giggles
like rolling thunder
like a pillow for my head
like fall leaves beneath my feet
like socks on my toes
like the imagination of a child
like crisp winter mornings
like the early morning sun
like running water
hard working things
like a husband, caring for his family
like a stranger who lends a hand
like a slow-moving brook
like chocolate chip cookies
like the flowers of spring
like when a heart first starts beating
like a playful little puppy
like a spider that spins such a majestic web
like an orchestra full of song
like rainbows and mountains
like hopping little toads
like silence with a baby’s first cry…
Gratitude is my gift to God
in return for His never-ending blessings.
What more do I have
that is truly mine to give,
than the gift of a grateful heart?