As I reflect upon the past week in preparation for today’s post on gratitude, I realized that this definition by Thomas Merton really hit the nail on the head. Indeed, “to be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything.”
This does not mean that God loves everything that happens, but rather that His love and presence are available to us regardless of our circumstances. And I am learning that even when things are especially turbulent, I can remember to thank God for the seemingly small and inconsequential things along the way. Doing so gladdens His heart, and it usually helps mine, too! So, without further ado, here are my gratitude reflections for the week:
- I had the distinct privilege to reconnect with four good friends this week – two of the visits were planned, and the other two were more impromptu. My preference is usually to plan – I live by my calendar! – but I am learning to be open to the “unscheduled blessings” that God brings into my life.
- I learned at the last moment that my father needed to undergo surgery last Tuesday, and I’m grateful that the procedure was successful. Without going into details, he has apparently experienced the best possible outcome on all fronts, and is now in the process of recovering (his recuperation time should take anywhere from four to six weeks).
- I am thankful that God has raised up another person to join me in the ministry that I help to lead at church. We have had some recent departures from our leadership team, and I wasn’t quite sure what the Lord’s plan was for the ministry. However, He has raised up another person who is fantastic! And while we’re not quite sure what our next ups will be, we both feel confident that the Lord is guiding our planning efforts, and will show us which way to go.
- Finally, I was touched this evening when my neighbor – who is also a Christian – rendered an unexpected kindness to me. He had noticed an issue with my car (white paint had gotten on the side door, and I just assumed that the stain would always be there), and he took it upon himself to purchase some “rubbing compound” – whatever that is? – which he then applied to my car and completely removed the stain. In my mind, it was a picture of what Jesus does to the sin in our lives. After my friend finished up my car, the area that he fixed looked brand new! I suppose that’s how we look in God’s eyes once we come to faith in Christ, too. 💡
Thanks for reading! Have a great week.