A Heart of Thankfulness.

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In the light of the morning sun,

We stood facing the mountains.

Listening to the sounds of the newly opened spring creek and the rushing stream.

I feel a shift in my horse as she reaches down to take a drink from the chilled water.

I turn around for the rays of the morning sun to warm my face.

Peacefully I sat there,

Closing my eyes to listen to the sounds of birds chirping and my horse gently breathing.

Reaching down to stroke her neck,

I realized something and quietly spoke it, ‘How easy it is to lose a heart of thankfulness.’

It is far to easy.

It happens daily and continues to happen as I fix my eyes on other things rather than the beautiful treasures I have been given right here and now.

It is far too easy to take for granted what we have been given,

To feel privledged,

To feel deserving,

Rather than coming to the truth that I do not deserve anything that I have.

What I do deserve is far far less,

But our God is gracious and loving,

He is redeeming and merciful,

And gives me things far more beautiful than anything I could have dreamed of.

But how easy do I forget that?

How quickly do I grab what He is handing me and toss it aside, asking for something new, something different, something I feel is better?

Daily, I do that.

Daily I feel discontent, I feel that I must need something else or want this or that.

It is always onto the next thing and in the midst of living in a culture that is built around success and always gathering more –

We focus more on the things given than the giver Himself.

And that breaks my heart.

It humbles me to realize that to have a thankful heart is to find rest in the only One whom gives good things,

Coming to Him and having my blind eyes opened to see the beautiful things He has so gracious given me, someone who does not deserve anything good.

But He is merciful, He is redeeming and He is oh so loving.

He continues to lavish on us far more than we need,

And in return we become fixated on them rather than praising Him.

How do we cultivate a thankful heart again?

How do we remain content with all we have?

I think it is realizing that all we have been given is for a reason,

It is all to be laid down for Him to use through us, for Him to build His Kingdom here on earth and for us to steward well.

What if we looked at everything we had and used it all through a heart of worship and praise?

What if we loved those in our lives so deeply as Christ loves us?

What if we stopped taking for granted even the simply things like food and use it to host people, to invite people over and fellowship?

What if we freely gave what we have been given?

What if we asked the One whom gave it all what He wants us to do with it, rather than taking it and turning away to do what we will?

I think a heart of thankfulness comes when we remain pointed to our gracious Father.

That we realize we have it because He has given it too us, the good and the hard.

To cultivate a heart of thankfulness is first coming to see who God is, then coming to know who we are through His Son, Jesus Christ and then seeing all that we have – regardless of what it is to the world eyes but in perspective to not having it at all.

If I were to lose everything, would I still have a heart of thankfulness? A heart of gratitude? A heart fixed on Him? Have I come to realize that all I have is because of Him?

It is far to easy to feel privileged and deserving of the things we have, but I don’t want that.

I don’t want a greedy heart or one that feels like I deserve all that I have, because I don’t. I only have what I do because Our King is so gracious and redeeming that He continues to give good gifts even when I mess up.

I want a heart that is truly thankful for all things, everyday, regardless if they seem good or bad in the eyes of the world, I want a heart that will rejoice and thank the Lord because He holds it all and He matters more than anything this world could give me.

I don’t want to lose sight of eternal things because I am so focused on the temporal things of the world which will one day fade away, or when I die, won’t come with me.

I say this all in a perspective that brings me a greater realization of being thankful to Him who gives me all that I have rather than a heart or perceptive that makes me feel like I have earned it or deserve it, because that’s not the case.

And it is a joy to realize that all we have, comes from Him.

I pray that He would begin to cultivate within each of us a heart of thankfulness, a heart that no longer takes things for granted but reveals to us the areas in our lives where we are beginning or do feel entitled and privileged. I pray that He humbles us, that He opens our eyes to see the beautiful gifts He has given us and shows us how He wants us to use them for His glory. I ask that He would continue to show us the areas in our lives that we have lost sight of Him and are brought back to always be fixed on Him, that He gives us contentment and rest, empowering us to see Him as He is and who we are through His Son, Jesus Christ. May He set us free from being enslaved to the things we have so that we are able to serve Him through it, with hearts overflowing, full of thankfulness and praise. May we see each day as a beautiful thing, coming to Him to thank Him for all things, in Jesus name.

My hope is that we would begin to embrace each day, that we would learn to see the unbelievably beautiful things in our lives – no longer comparing them to others and what they may have, but seeing all that we have and being okay with that, being content and with a thankful heart living to bring glory to our Father.

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
Ephesians 5:20

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