Have you ever felt taken for granted in a relationship? Interactions or experiences where our time, attention, love and sacrifices don’t seem to be appreciated or valued, over time, can create some pretty negative feelings. If we are not careful, we can become bitter, resentful, and can even begin to pull away from the other person.
Lack of appreciation or ungratefulness can creep into any relationship: parent and child, spouse, friend, sibling and even work relationships. No relationship is immune, including our relationship with the Lord.
“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.” Romans 1:21
Notice that darkness and confusion come on the scene in the absence of thankfulness and reverence for the Lord. Are there any dark areas of your life? Are you confused about which direction to take?
Perhaps this is a call to increase worship and thankfulness towards our Master and King? We know that learning to be thankful even during dark and confusing times in our life is part of the path towards spiritual growth and maturity.
Many years ago, my marriage was in a dark season. I felt justified about my long list of things my husband wasn’t doing right. I became bitter and resentful. My thoughts about our marriage became dark and hopeless.
For a while, I turned to everything but the Lord about my marriage. When I finally realized my thoughts and actions were not going in a good direction, I started seeking the Lord. I knew I couldn’t change my husband, so I began asking the Lord to change the areas in my life that needed to change. Not long after I asked the Lord to change me, He led me to begin giving thanks for my husband. What?! I thought to myself, “Okay Lord, now you’ve really gone too far!”
Looking back, I can now laugh about my reaction, but at the time, it felt like one of the hardest things He asked me to do. The beautiful thing is, God is faithful. As I begin to give thanks for my husband, my heart softened towards him. As I softened, communication slowly opened again. As communication grew, actions and hearts on both sides of the fence began to change.
When is the last time you thanked the Lord for the little things?
The other day, I felt convicted about the importance of gratefulness. During my quiet time with the Lord, I thought about how easy it is to take for granted that, each morning, I can swing my legs out of the bed, stand on them and walk. It’s easy to take for granted that I can breathe, see, smell, hear, speak.
On a bigger level, think of the people in Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean that have practically been decimated by the recent hurricanes. On the mainland, it’s easy to take for granted that we have clean water, electricity and an intact place to live.
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalms 9:1
Imagine if all of us who trust in the name of the Lord, operate in a spirit of gratefulness?
Will you join me in giving a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord? (Psalms 116:17)
Starting October 1st, and for the next 30 days, let’s jumpstart a Christ-honoring movement: #30DaysOfGratefulness!
Each morning at 6 a.m. CST, I will post on my FaceBook page a different topic that we can purpose in our hearts to be thankful about. Consider using the gratitude topic as an area of focus during your prayer and reflection time.
For 30 days, let’s gather together to give thanks daily.