As children, some of the first words we are taught by our parents are “please” and “thank you.”
Most of us master the “please” aspect of good manners quite easily. We are good at expressing what we need. It is curious how our memories will function at 100% capacity when it concerns the things we want.
We live in perhaps the most materially blessed time in all of history. Just think for a moment of the many things we take for granted. Simple, basic things that millions of people living on this planet do not have: an abundance of clean water, the warmth of a roof over our heads, freedom to worship where and when and how we please.
But when we pray—that is, if we even make the time to pray—how much of what we say to God is expressed in gratitude?
Gratefulness is a mark of maturity in a child, and it is a mark of maturity in a child of God. It says in Psalm 100:4 that we enter His courts through thanksgiving and praise. This posture of the heart is so important.
You may be thinking, “But if you only knew my circumstances, you would understand why I am not grateful.” I know that sometimes it is very hard to be grateful when you are hurting or sad. But I have also discovered that when I am in deep sadness or pain, if I turn my eyes heavenward to my Savior who has given everything for me, I suddenly have a different vantage point and my struggles don’t feel as daunting.
You are never alone. The Father sees you and knows you so well. When you are feeling sad, remember that you have the Holy Spirit who is the perfect comforter.
God is a good Father and He loves you. From this space, I encourage you to express your gratitude for what He has done and who He is.
May we frequently express to God the things for which we may be thankful and those things that are difficult for us to be thankful. And may we begin to teach our children to say: “Thank you, thank you, Jesus!”
With Easter right around the corner and the remembrance of what God has done for us, what are you thankful for?
Share it with others, write it down, and talk about it at the dinner table. May your house be filled with an abundance of gratitude.