“We long for tangible evidence of God’s love, but we fail to see it, in part because we have not learned to be thankful.” (Ann Spangler from Praying the Names of Jesus)
Am I loved? Cherished by the Father? It’s easy to express to someone else that she or he is. But isn’t it much harder to acknowledge it about yourself? Why is that?
Maybe, in part, it’s more of an issue of sight. We fail to see His love all around us. The sun rise this morning, the colors in the flowers in the garden, the deep blue sky, the laughter of children. His love is tangible evidence, gifts that surround us.
How can we find contentment? How do we recognize the love of the Father and rest in the peace that we are seen and cherished?
Paul told us it is a learned skill to be content. Philippians 4:11, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” How do we teach these depleted hearts contentment?
It begins with gratitude.
Psalm 100 invites us to enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! It encourages us to give thanks to Him not because He needs to be thanked like the stingy aunt at Christmas, but rather because we need to thank Him.
Gratitude draws us near to God, it puts us right in His courts!
Gratitude opens our sleepy eyes to the multitude of ways God demonstrates His love for us. The simple practice of giving thanks is not for His benefit but ours.
I need to see the grace of a good God in the laughter of my sons’, so I thank Him for it. I need to see the love of the Father in the colors of the sunrise, so I give thanks to Him for painting it for my eyes to see.
Begin today, right now! Pause, look around. Is there anything beautiful, appealing, excellent, praise worthy from the hand of God? Take it personal and thanking Him for it.
The cold water in my favorite mug in front of me, Thank you, Father, for refreshment and the gift from a friend that this mug was.
The bright, beautiful desk lamp from my husband, Thank you, Father, for light, clarity to see, eyes to see, a man who loves me and supports my writing enough to gift me this lamp.
The sound of the laughter of my boys, Thank you, Father, for the gift of these funny boys who enjoy one another (most of the time).
Now you try it! Enter His courts with thanksgiving!
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