On Gratitude

Why I am grateful?

The theme of All-Staff Retreat is “With Grateful Hearts,” so the songs and speakers have focused on being people filled with gratitude. It’s been fun to spend some concentrated time focused on one topic, but I’m glad I’m not the last speaker who has to find a fresh angle! šŸ™‚

Yesterday, I came to a realization in the middle of the song (appropriately titled) “Give Thanks.”

And now let the weak say, “I am strong.”
Let the poor say, “I am rich”
Because of what the Lord has done for us.
Give thanks.

Why am I grateful? Generally, I think about being grateful because of some good thing that has happened- something that aligns well with the way I think the world should operate. And that’s all well and good, until things don’t go my way. This song (and correct me if I’m wrong) seems to be saying that in the midst of the bad- the weakness, the poverty- we can give thanks, because of what God has done for us. It reminds me of Romans 4:18-20, which basically says that Abraham and Sarah’s chances of having a son were about 0%, but Abraham was strong in faith anyway, “giving glory to God” (vs. 20).

There must be something beyond good circumstances, then, as a basis for gratitude, if we are to give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18), and I think it just might be not only what God has done for us, but also who He is. We could say, “Thank You that You are my strength when I am weak” and “Thank You for the hospitality of the Hendersons because You are the ultimate welcome to those who are alone” and “Thank You for that fun conversation on educational theory because You are the source and giver of all truth as well as the great teacher.”

So that’s my goal- to build a habit of being thankful both for what God does but also the way the little things show Who He is. If you try it out, let me know how it goes! I’m having a lot of fun!

“Thank You, Lord, that You are creative and give me fresh ways to worship You. Thank You that all joy and delight are ultimately found in You.”

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