Tuesday, February 7, 2017

How to Keep a Thankful Heart

Thank God for all that is. There may come a day when what is is no more. So much of what we enjoy as Americans is a luxury elsewhere. For example,three meals a day is unheard of by many. Then there are the CHOICES of what to eat: Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Thai, buffet, drive-through, Hibachi, TV dinner, meal at church, cold chicken from your fridge, and on it goes. 

Plenty has a way of numbing our thankfulness if we don't watch it. It can be soil for entitlement to grow. You know you're there when you lose a blessing and you get mad.
When Job lost it all, his response revealed that he hadn't lost sight of where it all came from: " The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21).

How do you keep your head about all that is good? May I suggest it is done by recognizing each blessing as if you just received it? Jeremiah said that the Lord's mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Why not thank God for it newly every morning? There is a child-like wonder that happens when we do this. I know you're probably thinking, "But won't that get old really quickly?" No, not if while your lips are listing what He's given, you let your mind imagine what if it weren't there. 

Try it. 

I thank God for my job, my house, my husband, and the ability to read. If God decided not to renew either of those tomorrow morning, my life would change dramatically. See what I mean?

 Somebody will go to bed tonight with one less family member than when they woke up. An accident can change a whole family even without loss of life. A phone call, a doctor's visit, or a pink slip can be God's debit card to remove what has been there for so long.

 This thinking is not a push to drown us in the what-ifs but a pull to our perspective on all we enjoy. Every day that we have what brings us happiness was an intentional act on God's part, so let's be intentional in our gratitude too. 

"Thank You, Jesus, for letting my car crank."

"Thank You, God, for the water that comes from my faucet."

"Thank You, Lord, for inventing coffee."

"Praise you, Father, for hot doughnuts when the sign is on."

It's a wonderful exercise that makes gratitude fun. It keeps our hearts aware of how blessed we are. Most of all it gladdens the heart of our great and generous God.