Gratefulness…Thankfulness…We try to teach our children to have these qualities as soon as they can talk. Sometimes we assume that because they say “thank you” at the appropriate times that they actually are grateful! In fact, we even think that about ourselves! But have we ever thought about why we are so prone to be ungrateful and unappreciative for the many gifts God gives us?
SUFFERING SHOWS HOW GRATEFUL WE TRULY ARE
I remember when our first daughter was stillborn. After I got over the initial shock and grief, the anger was overwhelming! When all was said and done, I felt entitled to a healthy, living child. It was the American way. We were in full-time ministry. God “owed” us. Would I have said that out loud? Of course not. But at the root of my anger that was my thinking. In the 40 years since, I hope I have grown in my level of gratefulness for the gifts God chooses to give me as well as the realization that they are gifts.
A few years back, I went through a four year period where I lost much of my health, particularly related to thinking and memory. I was having a lot of seizures as well so for that period of time, I was not able to drive. I had never gone that long without driving before. To say it “cramped my style” would be quite an understatement!
Once again, I became very upset. My entitlement mentality was popping up again! When I say I know I’m not perfect, I’m not just being sweet and humble. I know it is true. I need the grace of God thoroughly. I felt entitled to the good health I had experienced all those years. My epilepsy had been well controlled for over 30 years. God had gifted us with three beautiful daughters who were healthy. That was no small thing.
Was I grateful? I thought so, but when He took away the health that I took for granted, I was MAD. I expected this great life He had given. I wasn’t grateful for the blessing of it. On many levels, I expected this of God. He owed me. Of course, my theological “beliefs” did not say that. But my experience showed my true heart. It showed what I truly believed. It was not a pleasant sight.
TEST OF GRATEFULNESS
The test of gratefulness? When God removes a gift we have had, do we accept that from His hand as Job did or do we have a tantrum? Do we feel entitled to the gifts we have been given? If so, then we aren’t grateful or thankful. Gratefulness and entitlement can’t live together. We often must choose gratefulness as an act of faith.
So here we are in the “Season of Gratefulness” which has come to be equated with lots of food! How sad is that? We get busy cooking and planning for the meals when our families get together (not a bad thing) but once again forget to focus on our hearts. We have gotten too busy, too stressed, too tired to pause and think. So we keep racing on and don’t reflect on what we have to be grateful for and to Whom we are grateful.
GRATEFULNESS NOT SEASONAL, BUT DAILY
Gratefulness is a way of life! It is not for a season but for each day. As I write those words, I realize how far short I fall of taking the time to spend with my Heavenly Father simply to be thankful to Him for His wonderful provisions in many ways on many levels of life! When I do it, it is mind blowing and spirit lifting!
This message on gratefulness is brought to you by Blessings, a branch of DaySpring. This beautiful line of dishes called “Ever Grateful” says, “grateful for His goodness, grateful for His grace, grateful for simple blessings” (inside the bowl and on the dessert plate). The salad plate (curvy, with the stenciled design) says simply “always blessed, ever thankful”. It also looks very nice hung on the wall as shown.
The dishes are sold separately or in settings. They also come in other (neutral) colors and with matching cups. The information at the link above includes professional photos of the products plus additional products.
There are also opportunities for you to sell some of these products from your home as a consultant and further links to catalogs. Take a browse and look at some of the other items as well. (At the Relevant conference, we were able to get acquainted with some of the products and people from these two companies and appreciated them very much.) Whether you are able to give a place setting or a simple plate, the gift is a great one of encouragement for anyone, those who have much or those who have lost much.
I love that these messages are on dishes to remind me daily–more than once–what I have been given. For me personally, it is not so much a reminder that “I am thankful, good for me”…but a challenge: “Remember Martha, despite the difficulties you face today, you belong to a good God who loves you, who has shown you much undeserved grace and provided all you need. Continue to learn to appreciate His provisions and have a grateful heart.”
THANKS BE TO GOD!
With daily reminders like that, how can we not learn to look up with gratefulness to Him, the Provider of all good things! The One who is “working in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure”! The “One who is able to keep you from falling and is able to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” He is the One to whom we are grateful. Thanks be to God!
***I received free product for this review. However, the opinions expressed are very much my own…as usual on this blog!