In this day and age it can be so easy to look around and find gazillions of things to grumble about….from biggies like the economy, poverty, and war….to the tiniest annoyances like a slow computer or a loved one’s messy clutter. Some days, everything seems to multiply and we get worn down by the assault of the ‘negatives’.
If we are not careful in how we respond, we can succumb to the frustrating buildup of grievances that turn us into griping grumps that stew and storm through the day with bitter expectations and very short fuses.
Quick! Time to turn it around! Before we contribute to someone else’s set of problems.
The solution? A grateful heart. The deliberate mindset that says we choose to be thankful and positive no matter what our circumstances are. A grateful heart is not so much an emotion, but a decision.
We all know people who exude joy and a radiant peace despite major health or financial problems or struggles with untold troubles. What is their secret? A faith that says there is a God whose best hopes for us are bigger than our present daily grind in this life, and a grateful heart that sees the victories, rather than the defeats. A grateful heart is a weapon of warfare that guarantees success in every battle.
Many of us have learned to pray and release our burdens so that we can journey more weightlessly. But perhaps we can take action a bit further, even more proactively.
Several years ago, I was talking to God in the shower (where we often communicate—perhaps because I’m in such a naked, humble state) and started in with my requests. Spirit stopped me, and said, “Don’t ask anything today—only give thanks for the things in your life.”
So, I whispered thanks for running water, my own home, my car, my job, for our free country, for my family, for my iced tea, my friends, my doggies….everything I could think of. Something in my heart broke as I realized how many precious treasures I have to be thankful for, yet never really acknowledge. Gratitude grabbed my heart that day and shook out a lot of junk, turned it around, gave my mind a new perspective. By evening, I was a blubbery mess of tears and snot, barely able to function because God’s presence was so close….and….healing.
So, I challenge you to pick a day, perhaps one of those where you may seem to stumble through, and deliberately give thanks—even for the difficulties that are shaping and maturing you. See for yourself what the power of a grateful heart can accomplish in you—and through you.