The Arduous Effort of Gratefulness

It is remarkable how difficult it can be to maintain gratefulness. I’m not talking about courtesy. I’m not talking about the due lip service we give for things. I’m specifically referring to show-stopping gratefulness. The kind that makes you feel like you could live the rest of your days knowing that God took a specific interest in you and showed his specific love. One must know this gratefulness to be saved. And yet the ability to maintain this gratefulness is challenging. I am so easily distracted by the vain effort to secure myself and my family by my own power. And I’m not just talking about salvation. I’m talking about the fact that God just blessed us with a financial gift that ended up being what we would need for doctor visits and grocery needs, and yet rising within me is the anxious about tomorrow. It’s just ridiculous. Paul’s battle comes to mind Romans 7:15-25. It would seem to me that Jesus’s charge to us in Matthew 6:25-34 clearly reflects that when My planning for tomorrow starts getting me anxious, I have gone too far. But it’s so quick, isn’t it? It’s not like a slow growing thing. It’s like a flash fire. BOOM! I’m anxious, worrying about not what is happening but what could happen. I think that is why hope is so important. Our ability to dwell on what is to come, eternally, grounds us and drops the drama of our daily fears. We really have to guard our hearts and watch what’s moving into our eyes and ears. Make no mistake, I can act grateful. I can even fool myself into thinking I am. But the tell is the anxiousness. Gratefulness and anxiousness can’t be in the same room together. That is why it is imperative that I keep pouring into my heart the examples of gratefulness found in the Bible and then to add to that value, as I encounter brothers and sisters in Christ who exude that genuine gratefulness, I latch onto them and simply listen. Because I truly believe that genuine gratefulness is contagious, while “put-on” gratefulness or humility for that matter is nauseating. Boy it feels good to get that off my chest.

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