I’ve – several times – over the last couple of years have completed a number of gratitude challenges – the 21 day challenge, the 30 day challenge, the marriage challenge, all challenging us to think of new things to be grateful for. But, I am realising two things:
- You can’t do a gratitude challenge for 21 days (or 30 days) and then just stop. Your spirit starts to crave the desire to express gratitude. You have to be intentional about being grateful and that intentionality doesn’t just stop after a given time period. Gratitude should be practised every day of your life. If not, you’ll slowly slip back into ingratitude – we need to be intentional about finding things to be grateful for. I stopped my last gratitude challenge a while back, and already I find negativity creeping in… Not where I want to be.
- The second thing I’ve learnt about gratitude is that although it needs to be intentional, there can also be an explosion in your soul of gratitude for something God has done in your life that there is no way you could achieve on your own.
What do you say to a God who provides so supernaturally? How does thank you suffice? Thank you that you HEAR me. Thank you that you SEE me. Thank you that you show COMPASSION for me. Thank you that you PROVIDE. Virtuous Woman Exposed
Is it arrogant and demanding to want God to do something so awesome in my life that I experience more of the second than the intentional focus of the first?
I am truly grateful that God sees me. I mean, I still am blown away by the fact that this creator of the world – who rules the universe and who is God of all – knows me and sees me. He knows the number of hairs on my head. He knew me in my mother’s womb. It makes me want to hide away – to be so open and vulnerable to someone takes a lot of trust and to be honest, it scares the crap out of me. Trust is something that I battle with. But, I know that God isn’t trustworthy because of my feelings, God is trustworthy because of WHO He is. He is constant and never changes – He not fickle like I am.
So, while I will continue now to focus on the first – being intentional about showing gratitude and giving thanks for all the many blessings in my life, my true prayer is to have God do something so utterly amazing that I know it can only come from Him; that there would be no way in this I could ever have contributed.
Thankfulness isn’t about tradition, it is about trust. When something is expected, or WE earned it, there is a sense of gratitude, but more like a “look what WE did God!” Thanks, for this food that I worked for, shopped for, prepared, and served. There is still, whether we beat ourselves to humility or not, a sense of ownership in our thankfulness. However, when we learn to walk in a complete trust, and then God comes through, our thankfulness EXPLODES, deep from within us. I believe that those who learn to TRUST God completely, experience a supernatural emotion of thankfulness. Virtuous Woman Exposed
And what Sarah Ball from Virtuous Woman Exposed says is so true – it is in the trusting of God that we are able to experience a supernatural emotion of gratitude. And here’s the thing – I often feel vulnerable and exposed – in a bad way – like I have to run away and hide. Shame does that to you.
But, God is love.
He is love through and through. His entire being is love.
I have no need to feel ashamed, or frightened or vulnerable.
And because God is love, I can trust Him completely.
I can approach God confidently because I am His daughter and whatever shame I am carrying, He already knows. He KNOWS…
So, in honest humility, I come to God and ask Him to heal me of all my shame – to make me whole, to heal my hurts and pain and my past – to help me to love my husband and daughter well; from a place of health and wholeness.
I know that I can’t do this – there is nothing that I can do to answer this prayer.
But I know that God can. And He will.
Because God is in the business of healing, wholeness, love and forgiveness.
Thank you God that I can trust in you.