Sometimes, we arrive at a time when we are almost required to be thankful. Today may have been one of those days for you.
It can feel like this mandated thankfulness must extend to every facet of our lives. Even when we don’t feel like it. And especially when we struggle to find it.
As if a flawless family-and-friend-and-work-and-play-and-school-and-church life was a constant state of being and not a fleetingly finite moment.
Permanent snapshots of momentary perfection in our own otherwise scuffed up, trampled down lives glare stark in contrast with such a messy reality.
And that can be quite the letdown.
But it is still in recognizing even the smallest of measures by which thankfulness itself can be attained. And that is when simply being thankful blossoms into gratitude, which to me IS the state of being for which we should strive.
Because gratitude is more than simply remembering to say thanks for a few generic items every year around a dinner table.
Gratitude is making the choice to daily live gratefully, indebtedly to God, to the One who has extended His mighty hand to you and to me, in grace and forgiveness and love. Not because anyone forced Him to do so. But because He simply, unabashedly wanted to.
Gratitude is grasping the most seemingly insignificant minutia of each moment and being utterly, completely filled with God’s grace and mercy. From which springs gratitude. An awareness of being beholden and freed simultaneously by God, whose same mighty hand has the power to cease existence and to grant life.
Gratitude is appreciating, with a genuine spirit and pure heart, that every breath and blink are not a right or a guarantee, but a gift. A gift from the Creator who molds body forms and fills lungs, not because He wants to just play a game or be a puppeteer. But because He really does long for communion with us and in us.
Gratitude is responding to God as He has demonstrated His love and gratitude for us, time and again and again. With generosity and compassion and sincerity. And with grace and thanksgiving.
For there must always be gratitude if there is to be hope.
And hope springs eternal when it is founded upon He who is eternity.
Thanks be to God.
Not because it’s always easy. Not because everyone else merits your thanks every time.
But because God does. Every. Single. Time.
And that’s all the reason you need. Today. Tomorrow. Always.