It seems that everywhere I turn lately, the word Gratitude keeps showing up on my radar. Last week I mentioned here, that I have been participating in an online study of Suzie Eller’s book, Come With Me. And there it is again, in this week’s chapter for study: Living in Gratitude!
How is it that all these things have come together at just this time to point me back to living a life filled with Gratitude? I did a small word study to find the early beginnings of the word “gratitude,” and was surprised (but not really) to find that GRACE and GRATITUDE have their basis in the same Latin word gratus.
hmmm. . . remember that “pool of grace” that I am supposed to be swimming in?
The latest word from the Doctors continues to be fear-inducing concerning my husband: valve insufficiencies, and cardiologist appointments. But here’s the thing: while my mind wants to go back to fearing, my heart is hearing this GRACE and GRATITUDE word coming from Heavenly Influence.
Ifeoma has put together a wealth of wonderful Scriptures, in her book, Overcome Failure. She has so many encouraging words for any of us who have ever felt ourselves to be in a place of failure. One of her stories involved a time when she felt like a failure as a Mother. I won’t give any spoilers here, because you really should read the book yourself, but in the midst of the crisis that was averted, she heard the Lord whisper to her that she had not thanked Him for what He had kept from happening. She had been so focused on what she HAD allowed to happen, that she had forgotten to thank God for what He had PREVENTED from happening.
My heart has been stirred within me ever since I read that story. You see, I tend to focus on what IS happening right now, and then what COULD happen tomorrow. But am I willing to lift my eyes to see what Grace HAS ALREADY prevented from happening?
Yes, I know, I am usually quick to say “Oh, things could always be so much worse!” But I wonder, am I actually just tossing around a phrase, with a bit of a cynical heart?
Have I let my past failures and weaknesses compound in the hidden corners of my heart, and somehow, they’ve come to whirl and whip my thoughts back to a familiar place of fearing?
What if, instead of the whirling, I stopped the sequence in the beginning, and found a word of true thankfulness to speak? Maybe the GRACE comes as we lift GRATITUDE out of the closet, and dress ourselves in garments of praise.
“comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:2,3
-Thank you God, that your GRACE uncovered a hidden problem with my husband’s heart.
-Thank you God, that my own weaknesses from RA/Fibromyalgia have prevented me from trying to “fix and carry” those issues that my loved ones must bear to You.
-Thank you God, that even when I have felt like I have failed to find my own recovery, YOU are bringing me into the pleasant places of Your Presence.
-And most of all, Thank you God, that fearing cannot hold my heart, when my eyes are full of your GRACE to me.
Ifeoma Samuels can be found at her blog Purposeful and Meaningful . I am glad I was part of the launch team for her book #OvercomeFailure, and would highly recommend it!
Linking this week at these wonderful sites: