The Gift of a Grateful Heart

Gratitude…

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…

OR

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…

happy things

like new life and new love

sad things

like saying goodbye, but knowing we will meet again

silly things

like childish giggles

loud things

like rolling thunder

soft things

like a pillow for my head

crunchy things

like fall leaves beneath my feet

warm things

like socks on my toes

magical things

like the imagination of a child

cold things

like crisp winter mornings

bright things

like the early morning sun

practical things

like running water

hard working things

like a husband, caring for his family

kind things

like a stranger who lends a hand

gentle things

like a slow-moving brook

yummy things

like chocolate chip cookies

colorful things

like the flowers of spring

miraculous things

like when a heart first starts beating

furry things

like a playful little puppy

creepy things

like a spider that spins such a majestic web

musical things

like an orchestra full of song

beautiful things

like rainbows and mountains

ugly things

like hopping little toads

broken things

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?

 

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