As the sun was beginning to peek over the horizon this morning, I reached first for my hot coffee and once settled into my favorite chair I opened my gratitude journal. The gratefulness poured out through my pen with increasing ease I reflected on the weekend. I felt the lightening of my heart as the remembrance of gifts were laid out before me in ink.
A table full of those I love.
Breakfast burritos made by my sons.
Handwritten reminders of how they love me.
After my time with Jesus I escaped to the salsa garden. It needed water and I needed to continue to ponder His Words. The healthy soil was growing such rich green plants that were beginning to bear fruit which would soon become my favorite snack with corn chips. It occurred to me that the soil matters. As Jesus teaches in Luke 8:4-8, the soil where the seed lands makes all the difference.
Time in His Word was the seed being scattered over my heart and my time in the garden pondering it was offering the much needed water to my soul.
But what was the soil where it landed?
This morning, like most mornings, it was into the soil of gratitude. Having spent time counting the gifts He had lavished on me set my heart in a better place to plant His Word.
Not every morning begins with gratitude. There are times that rocks need removing first. Mornings where I desperately need to come to Him with grief, sin, hinderances to my intimacy with Him. But as I stood there letting the water from the hose shower the dry soil in my beds, I was reminded of how much the soil of gratitude is the place where healing grows.
Those places of loss, brokenness, pain, fear and anxiety are the places where we not only pour out to the Lord, but where we must prepare the soil with gratitude.
Psalm 28:7 reminds us, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.”
It is there in the place of gratitude that we are nourished and tended to. In gratitude to the Giver is where I remind my forgetful heart of the gifts and the goodness He offers making it possible then to further trust Him with my places of brokenness.
When I have forgotten the truth that I am invited to “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise!” and I have forgotten to “Give thanks to Him; bless His name!” Then the soil of my heart is not tilled up enough to receive the seed of the Word and thus bear fruit into my life and on those I am called to serve. He invites us, by His Word, to pour out our hearts to Him and draw near with gratitude, not because He needs it but because we do.
As I come to Him today, listing His gifts, I feel the tilling and the preparing of my heart and I sense His healing nearness. In His presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) and today I will chose to walk in that.
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