“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT).
I took my five year old daughter grocery shopping. She had been such a trooper that day, coming with me on all my errands, that I wanted to bless her with a gift. Since my daughter was just a toddler, it was obvious to all of us that her love language was gifts. She loves receiving presents! I decided to let her pick out a small present from the toy section at the story to bless her.
My daughter has trouble choosing what she wants. Every toy looks amazing to her, and she gets torn between which special item she wants to choose. On this particular day, there were two toys that she wanted. I explained that we had to leave before my frozen items began to melt, so she finally had to choose one.
On the way home, as she clung unto her new blessing, all she could talk about was the toy that she didn’t get. She whined and complained our entire drive. I almost wished that I hadn’t blessed her in the first place because of all the grief it caused her! Finally, when we made it to our house, I knew that I needed to talk with her about gratitude.
“Are you happy with the toy that I bought you?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said nodding her head.
“Well, I haven’t heard you say ‘Thank you’ yet, and you don’t seem excited or happy about your new toy.”
She held her gift tightly in her hands.
“When someone gives you a blessing, they feel good inside. And when you are super excited and show gratitude, it makes them want to do it again.”
I could tell she was listening intently–she’s discovering the secret to receiving more gifts! “Have you shown me any gratitude for this blessing?”
She shook her head no.
“Will I want to buy you another gift if all you did for this gift was complain and whine?”
“I don’t know,” she answered.
“I want you to focus on the wonderful present in your hands and not the other toy at the store. When you show gratefulness, people will feel good about blessing you and they will want to do it again!”
She nodded in agreement and smiled. I was glad we had our little life lesson together!
My daughter’s attitude reminded me of times in my past when I took God’s blessings for granted, and I lacked gratitude. I was so consumed with what He hadn’t given me yet that I didn’t see all the blessings that I already had in my life! God blesses me daily with family, friendships, health, purpose etc., and I want to show Him how excited and grateful I am that He would think about me!
More importantly, I am saved from an eternity separated from God because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross. I want to thank Jesus every day for my salvation. Yes, this life can be painful and we have to endure hardships, but our redemption is secure in Christ!
I have a covenant relationship with a holy God that will last forever because Jesus sealed my forgiveness with His blood. I should be waking up every morning filled with gratitude and joy that I will live for eternity with God in heaven
“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:29 NIV).
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