Attitude of Gratitude – What Have You Been Given?

I think sometimes that the more trials we endure with Jesus, the more value we see in life. The more we can appreciate the things we do have, verses always wanting the things we don’t. 

How many of you have been on a purging streak this year? After being in your homes more this year, how many of you have felt almost claustrophobic with everything around? 

I confess I certainly have, and I’ve been home a fair amount for years! But there comes a time when you realize you have too much. Yes, that can actually be a thing. 

I guess I’m becoming more of a minimalist in a way. Don’t get me wrong, I have something on every table and in every drawer and closet, but it’s starting to drive me crazy. I tend to get overwhelmed by it all and want to clear house. Then Michael talks some sense into me and I scale back. 

But then there’s moments where I sit in different rooms of the house and look around. It is in those moments that I am filled with thankfulness. I am grateful for the abundance that we have. I appreciate the conveniences of the various appliances and gadgets in our kitchen that make cooking easier.  For the fridge and freezer to preserve our food. 

I’m thankful for the couches to sit on and converse with others.   I’m grateful for the washing machine and dryer to do our laundry with. I’m thankful for the variety of clothes I have that fills my dresser and closet. Most of which were all given to me. 

I’m very thankful for the comfortable bed Michael and I have to sleep on each night. 

I could go on and on. These are all things we can typically take for granted. They are mostly all part of our “necessities” in our western culture. But think about this for a moment:

  • Having to take all day to prepare your meals over an open fire
  • To only maybe eat one meal a day because of lack of funds or food
  • To shower from a bucket of cool water
  • To walk miles and miles because you can’t afford a car, bike, donkey, etc. 
  • To have to buy food every couple of days because you don’t have refrigeration to store it
  • To sleep on a mat in a hut exposed to mosquitos, scorpions, spiders, snakes, thieves, etc.
  • To not even have a home because of mental illness and natural disasters
  • To be crippled and ill living in a culture that treats people with disabilities as cursed and worthless

None of us like to think about these things. We prefer to shut them down in our minds. But it’s when our power goes out that we realize our dependency on electricity. When our car breaks down or dies, that we are grateful for transportation. When our house is caught up in a fire, that we have a shelter to live in. We are not entitled to any of these things. They are all privileges and blessings. They are all things that the Lord has given us. 

We don’t need to feel guilty for what we have either though. But we need to be responsible with them. We need to take care of our possessions. To treat them as gifts given to us from God. We need to be thankful and consider ourselves greatly blessed for the lives, health, and commodities we have around us to live as comfortably as we do. Then, out of our abundance, we should have generous hearts. If there is someone in need that the Lord brings to mind, help them out. Give out of what you’ve been given. Your cup will never run dry. “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). He also appreciates it when we realize that all we have comes from Him. 

Rejoice this week and take some time to share with friends and family what you are grateful for and what you’ve been given. Think of creatively among your Thanksgiving dinner about ways you can give back to the Lord some of what you’ve been given. Share with us as well! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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