Monday, November 2, 2015

The Faith of Simple Gratitude

Accept my grateful thanks and teach me your desires.
~ Psalm 119:108, TLB ~

Growing in faith -- Isn't that what we want for all of our children of every ability?  Teaching it in the midst of our daily chaos, however, can be a completely different story.

While I try to lead by example, I am grateful to take any and all the help I can get.  Last month my two younger teens drove with me to pick up their big sister from college after her first 6 weeks away.  Missing her made us bubbly with excitement and chatter on the way to campus.  I forget what the topic was leading up to it, but I do remember my youngest stating, "I wish my faith was as strong as Lexi's."  I saw the door of admiration open, an instructive opportunity that might add to what I was already trying to instill at home.   

"Why don't you ask her what she did to get there?" I recommended to her, hoping it might foster a wise, healthy discussion once they were finally together again.

It did!  However, the recommendation my eldest gave her little sister was absolutely nothing like I expected. 

"Well, you see, I grew my faith by just waking up each day and beginning to thank God for absolutely everything.  I thank God for my eyes.  Then if I see a book on the shelf, I thank Him for that.  The covers that keep me warm...  I thank Him for them too.  Everything.  That's how I draw closer to Him, by remembering that everything around me is a blessing from God.  Start there, and you can't help but grow in your faith," she matter-of-factly announced in her sing-songy, self-assured voice.


Here I anticipated my eldest lecturing her younger sibling on the discipline Bible reading or even finding good friends who might build her up in the Lord.  She suggested nothing of the sort. Instead, in the wisdom that only the Holy Spirit could speak through an 18-year-old mouth, she recommended something infinitely more powerful and vastly more simple.

The interesting thing about my daughter's recommendation is this --

Gratitude in ALL things can't help but put our hearts into the right position to hear God.

When we offer him our thanks for even the simplest of things, we assume a position of humility. It is an act of worship that affirms His Sovereignty.  In addition to the blessings for which we are offering our gratitude, we receive the gift of breathtaking awe as we contemplate our limitless, loving Lord.  We draw closer to the vastness of His goodness.

It's no wonder that the simple act of daily, continuous gratitude would help us to grow in our faith.  As we march towards the crescendo of the Thanksgiving holiday this month, let's develop this new personal habit to usher us closer to our Maker throughout every day and season of the year.

PRAY:  Father, "thank you" barely seems enough to convey the debt of appreciation owed to You. Even so, unless we start there, we cannot humbly grow in our love and relationship with You, our Maker.  Slow us down long enough to remind us to look up, pause, and marinate in praise for Your boundless generosity.

~ Barb Dittrich 

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