A Heart of Gratitude

Published December 19, 2012 by Dawn

“Thank you for dinner, Mom. It was delicious!” I looked at that kid with total bewilderment. Whose kid is this? She looks like mine, but I’m not sure anymore. Maybe … maybe aliens are real, and my daughter has been abducted. This has happened before, you know. Last summer, my son thanked me after every meal for over a week, and I thought for sure he had been abducted by aliens. And sure enough, when they were (presumably) done with him, the thanks stopped and it was dinner as usual. I’m almost a believer …

But enough of that. Let me tell you what happened in my heart when she said that. My heart swelled to almost bursting and I was filled with love and adoration for this child. I responded, “I will feed you every day if you talk to me like that.” Then I added, “Well, never mind the fact that I feed you everyday anyway. Keep that up, because it feels good to hear.” In truth, I would have baked her a cake for that one, which is a big deal because it’s not junk day, and so no sweets in my house. But I would have done it. Her words were words of pure gratitude. She didn’t say it because she wanted anything, she was truly delighted with dinner. Dinner, which is something I provide everyday. It wasn’t anything spectacular; simple meat and potatoes. I didn’t do anything special to her meat or potatoes. I’m sure I probably prepared it less out of love than out of motherly responsibility, and I was rushing it to get to wrestling practice on time. But she didn’t know any of this. It didn’t matter to her. She was pleased in being fed and provided for. And she responded with a heart of thankfulness.

I wonder if God’s heart swells at our thankfulness? I wonder if He feels, in that moment of hearing our humble gratitude, that He would like to just lasso the moon and give it to us on a silver platter? I wonder if our thanks perpetuate our blessings? Do we receive more of His providence if we express sincere appreciation at what He has done or is doing in our lives? Do our thanks fulfill something in Him? Do our thanks reach a place in His heart that nothing else can, and draw out from Him the utmost of His riches? I believe they must, because God is a Father of Love. He delights in us, like I delight in my kids. How can He not respond to our thanks in such a way? His gifts are greater and His love is perfect. If mine is not, and I respond this way, surely He lavishes mightily on those who have a thankful heart. Oh, that God would create in me a thankful heart!

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