Monday, March 28, 2011

A grateful heart

I have a heart full of gratitude. Why wouldn't I when there are so many things that make me happy.

1. Children with ten fingers, ten toes, who are healthy. Grateful!

2. When days are filled with sunshine and flowers. Grateful!

3. My husband has a good job that provides for our family. Grateful!

4. I have wonderful friends and family. Grateful!

5. The beautiful intricacy of nature. Grateful!

6. The first lovely snow of winter. Grateful

The list of things that make me happy, and therefore grateful could go on and on. It's easy to be grateful for the things in life that make me happy. But what if I had to add a sick child to my list? Or what if I had to include a spouse who was injured or had been without work for several months. What if my marriage was broken and I could see no way to repair it. Could I still be grateful if life went from a peaceful flow to a raging torrent of heartache?

I have been wrestling with this question lately. I want to believe that I have a heart of gratitude, but I if I can get annoyed with something comparatively minor as the car breaking down, I have to wonder if I am truly thankful or am I conditionally grateful. 

How do I offer thanks when someone I love is ill and all I want is their healing and healing has yet to come? How do I offer thanks when a Tsunami devastates a village and thousands die?

I have begun to see that when things in life go well I am quick to express my gratitude to the Lord. Of course...I am happy. But when life is not all as I believe it should be, I hesitate. I say I believe God is good, yet my breath catches in my chest and I wait for it. That's right I wait for it. I wait to see the good before I give thanks. I want proof.

Over and over God has shown me His goodness. Yet, my heart is heavy that even after all these years and all the good He has done, I still expect Him to prove it to me again, before I will give thanks. Shouldn't I be in a place where my thanks comes because I remember the good He has done and I am looking expectantly, thankfully to what He is going to do next?

Thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle. I read these words in the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, and they pierced my soul. Thanksgiving first? Really? 

I think YES, really! 

The truest expression of my faith would be to give thanks for what God will do, will provide, will teach, before it happens, in the midst, knowing that another reason for thanksgiving will come.

I think I may be in need of a thankful heart transplant.



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