An Attitude of Gratitude
An Attitude of Gratitude
 
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16
 
“Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude.  If I insist on being pessimistic, there is always tomorrow.  Today I am blessed.”
- Maya Angelou
 
I’ve come across this concept repeatedly, and each time I try to internalize the message: God has filled our lives with blessings, both big and small.  Some seem nearly invisible; others are momentous events reminding us that the hand of God truly rests on our heads as we try to navigate this sometimes terrifying world. 
 
I know I cannot live and breathe without Him…so why is it so easy to slip back into my old ways of faith and prayer?  Why do I find myself focusing solely on what’s going wrong in my life, with my friends, in the world?  Why do my prayers lean toward a lament instead of a song lifted in praise?  In my heart I know which kind of prayer will bring me greater peace, but my head keeps stubbornly blocking the way with pleas for aid and comfort.
 
Life is hard.  There simply is no other way to put it, but each of us is far from alone. God always stands with us as long as we allow Him in.  He will come when you call, perhaps not with the response you seek but always with love and guidance as you travel your path.  Maybe the key to changing our perspective is not in crying out our troubles but in lifting up our blessings and giving thanks for each of them.
 
Maya Angelou also said, “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.”  I’m going to tuck this away in my heart for Advent.  Every night I’m going to lift up my blessings, big and small, to the Lord and give thanks for His kindness and mercy.  It is only though these that I have come this far, and it’s by His grace alone that I will continue to grow in love and peace.
 
Prayer:
Lord, help me to focus on my many blessings so that I can give you thanks for your abundant kindness and mercy.
 
- Laura Hargrove

 

Last Published: November 27, 2013 3:34 PM
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