I recently read a quote that got me thinking, especially with Thanksgiving close behind us and Christmas quickly approaching.
“You can’t be grateful for something you feel entitled to.”
Many of us have been taught to be expectant of what we want from God…expectant of the blessings, expectant of prosperity, happiness, and a good life (car, house, spouse, job, etc). I hear people reminding God in their prayers of what He is supposed to do. Now before I get too many people upset for ruffling some feathers. I do believe in miracles. I do believe God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. I just think sometimes we miss being grateful.
When I was a kid and I got a new pair of high tops, I was so happy I could hardly keep it to myself. I wanted to show them off on the court. I believed they would make me jump a little higher, run a little faster and play a little better. We didn’t have a lot of money as a family. My father worked as steelworker and my mother, at a doughnut shop. Getting a new pair of shoes was not something that came frequently. It was a special occasion…and I was grateful.
Nowadays, I don’t get so excited when I get a new pair of shoes. It’s common. I sometimes forget to be grateful for what God has blessed me with. I sometimes forget that I have it so good. I sometimes forget that even on my worst days…I am far better off than many. I don’t tell you this to brag or boast, but instead to say that some days my perspective shifts.
When I see my mother receive a gift from a loved one, I see the gratefulness in her eyes. She has been through hell and back and still remains grateful. She, if anyone, deserves the best, yet she remains humble and gratefully accepts the good and the bad in life. Her joy is not dictated by possessions and ease. Her joy is rooted much deeper. Her joy is rooted in the peace and joy of God. She is grateful for life.
This Christmas, among the presents and shiny toys, remember to be grateful. Remember, you do not deserve the love you receive from God, but you are given it unconditionally. You are not entitled to earthly treasures, yet are given heavenly treasures day after day.
“Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.” Matthew 8:3 MSG
I am grateful for so much. What are you grateful for?