The Perfect Gratitude Trifecta – Perspective, People and a Promise: Part I |
christian speaker, writer, christian blog, south dakota blog, speaker, sojourner, Cindy Krall
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November, the month of Thanksgiving! I have a letter board in my home that reads, "November, every day a day to give thanks."  

Oh, how want that. I want a grateful heart. Day in. Day out.   

And yet, I know (and more importantly, God knows) I'm not always grateful. Sometimes I end up in a funk of focusing more on what concerns me or has me discontent than on how faithful God has always been in my life.  

Gratitude gets pushed to the back seat, nudged over by other thoughts. It can happen to any of us. It's usually not intentional. But the reality is this–– our lives will not be characterized by gratitude if our thoughts are not focused on gratitude.   

But a line of thinking has to start with a first thought, and here is where I landed:  

"Ears that hear and eyes that see–– the Lord has made them both." Proverbs 20:12

If there's one thing, I've learned in over a half-century of living, it's this: I need help with my thoughts. This scripture from Proverbs gives me hope. My logic is this:  

God made our ears and our eyes. They belong to Him. He can help us use them to hear what He wants us to hear and see what He wants us to see.  

Today, this month, I'm asking Him to help me hear and see the many reasons I have to be grateful.  

Some of us don't struggle with gratitude. We feel it from the tops of our heads to the bottoms of our toes. We can't imagine being anything less than grateful.   

Some of us are grateful… most of the time. We want to grow in gratitude. 

Some of us know we really need to grow in gratitude. We don't want to be the kind of person that sees the cup half empty, but somehow it seems we do.   

Wherever we are at in our journey of gratitude, there is a thing, or two, we can take away from Psalm 103.   

"Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits…."

It's funny, but as I read through the list of benefits, I couldn't help but notice how quickly I have taken some things for granted. Gifts like the forgiveness of all my iniquities.

The New Testament reminds us of the forgiveness that is ours because of Jesus. But sometimes, at least I know for myself, I wonder if I need to remember, in equal part, my sin. Such remembrance stirs deep gratitude within me.   

It's not fun or comfortable to remember one's own iniquities. Still, if we don't acknowledge them, we are at risk of missing the miracle of the cross. 

Of course, Satan invites us to remember our sins. He would love for us to do that and then park there… stay there in shame and defeat.

Not Jesus. Like the woman at the well, Jesus would tell us that He knows everything we have ever done, ever said, ever thought. But He would also tell us that He is the Messiah, the One who has come to set us free of our sins.

May our souls not forget this benefit!


Psalm 103 also reminds us that another benefit God grants us is redemption from "life in a pit."

I believe every person could testify that they've been in a pit at one time or another. Me included.

The pit of a failed relationship.
 
The pit of anxiety or depression.
 
The pit of a financial crisis.
 
The pit of a health failure.

We don't have to travel down the road of life long to discover that it is peppered with potholes and pits. 

But God. God can redeem anything, including life in a pit.  

If Jesus had a show on HGTV, I'm pretty sure it would be Fixer Upper. He looks at each of us… facets of His temple, and He knows what our lives can look like when we place them in the hands of the Redeemer.  

Life in the pit is exchanged for a life being perfected. 

Psalm 103 also says that God crowns our lives with His steadfast love and mercy.

A crown is defined as the highest point of something––the summit or pinnacle. You and I are living as exiles, sojourners in this world; God says that He will grant us the tremendous benefit of steadfast love and mercy until such time as we are home.  

The mercy implies we'll need it. He knows the dust we come from, and He knows the struggles we'll have before we have them. But mercy is already there waiting for us.  

And His love? It is steadfast. If, like me, you need to hear that again, let me share with you some synonyms describing the steadfastness of God's love:  

loyal
 
committed
 
devoted
 
dependable
 
steady
 
determined
 
resolute
 
relentless
 
unwavering
 
unfaltering
 
unswerving
 
unyielding
 
unflinching
 
uncompromising
 

May our souls not forget this benefit.


It's been said that a cup can be seen as half full or half empty. It all depends upon perspective. But here's an eye-opening thought about perspective. It can be shaped by what we are looking for.

Years ago, I remember when my husband and I bought our first car together. It was a Ford Taurus. We were excited. I still remember driving down I-90 each week as I'd travel for work. Interestingly, enough the moment we got that car, I couldn't help but notice all the other Ford Taurus' on the road.

Did the rest of the world suddenly get the same car? Probably not. What was more likely is that they were there all along. My perspective regarding the abundance of these cars simply shifted because I was looking for them.  

Could it be like that for gratitude? Maybe all the things we have to be grateful for have been there all along. The benefits we touched on from Psalm 103, or things as simple as the deliciousness of hot coffee in the morning, hugs from a loved one, or the beauty of the season's first frost.

Ann Voskamp, in her book A Thousand Gifts, documents her own journey toward gratitude. Daily she jotted down things to be grateful for.   

The beauty of a sunset.
 
Iridescent soap bubbles in her kitchen sink.
 
The color of her son's eyes.
 
The celebration of Christ's birth.

All one of a thousand gifts and all worthy of deep gratitude. Perhaps, we could benefit from the same exercise. What are our 'thousand gifts'?  

Would you pray with me?  

"Father, You gave us ears that hear and eyes that see–– You have made them both. God, we are grateful for the ability to see and hear. Still, we confess we don't always use them to listen for, and to see all of Your many benefits. Remind us by way of Your Holy Spirit to be in tune with the world around us, and within us, as we seek to grow in gratitude. In Jesus' name, Amen."

  [Join me next week as we look at the second important piece to living a life rich in gratitude.]
6 Comments
  • Kim Ested

    Love this! I saw you at a Women in Blue Jeans conference a couple 3-4? yrs ago and loved your message! Thanks – I needed this message today… for the past month! I’m also wondering about having you as a speaker at our spirituality day or Catholic Women’s convention ? Can you give me your thoughts and fees you charge? This message right here would be perfect!

    November 21, 2021
  • Darlene Lueken

    Hi Cindy,
    I haven’t seen your blog for a very long time and it just showed up today! So I have one more thing to be thankful for!❤️
    And it reminds me to be thankful for you and your little family on East 7th Street, especially your dear mom, my dear friend, Janet. I’m Very grateful for her friendship and for such nice playmates for our Chris and Darin, even tho they were a bit younger. What great mentors you were! Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!🦃

    November 21, 2021
  • Oh my, how I’ve missed your thoughts and encouraging, insightful words!!! What a blessing to wake up and start my day with them this morning! I too, am trying to be keenly aware of all my blessings! It does take work some days but I remind myself they’re there if I look for them. I’m seeking to “grow in gratitude” with you! Can’t wait for next weeks post! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Your name sister, Cindy

    November 22, 2021

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