Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Tan: Gratitude matters to God

Straight from the Heart

(Psalm 50:14 NLT)

I THINK I have underestimated the issue of gratitude especially in these miserable times of Covid captivity. On the outset giving thanks seems to be an easy task. I must confess lately I find it hard to be thankful considering the many sufferings I see around me, added to the pandemic we all are in. Then I slowly realize as it begins to sink in that ungratefulness is no excuse especially for those who claim to believe in God. If Gratitude matters to God it should matter to me.

In the most mysterious way Covid-19 along with the many hard knocks in life is a God sent mentor to confront us of our ingratitude. Perhaps, we are not guilty of thanklessness but we are guilty of thanking God less and less. Covid captivity and along the many adjustments attached to it like: the unending EO's QR Code, Restrictions of many things, movement and singing in church and now FM pass are actually a timely mentor to teach us to value and be thankful for many blessings we have neglected to appreciate. Covid redefined the word "negative" as a positive word. This Captivity reminded us that we are a part of a community. Frankly, gratitude is a powerful response in these miserable times because it connects us to God!

I find it very helpful to quietly listen to God in prayer and recall or list all the many things that I took lightly and now I'm learning to be grateful! Many times, I come home from church where I work as minister grumbling than grateful, now every time I come home and see all my family home, I breathe a prayer of thanks. I am thankful not only for the good things, believe me gratitude works wonders even when times are bleak! We need to realize that Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness because of grumbling. Probably the wilderness experience prepared them how to enjoy the Promise land. One thing is sure gratitude and grumbling cannot exist together, one must go.

Here are my suggestions: let us first repent before God for being a grumbler than grateful. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to convict us and show us of the many things we enjoyed but have not given God thanks. Let us thank God by the details like "Lord thank You for the one who was nice to me today at work." The moment you give time to look at the many blessings you have due to the many blessings God removed because of Covid Captivity, gratitude will be spontaneous rather than structured or shallow. Frankly, I want this storm to be over as soon as possible, yet something in me is saying it took this Covid Captivity to see my ungrateful heart and revealed so many things that I have enjoyed but neglected to really give thanks. Lastly, gratitude is not our nature, it must take God's touch to make us grateful only then we can respond to Him. In this thanksgiving month of November, let us ask God to make gratitude our attitude. When gratitude really matters to you it's no longer about the good things we get from a good God, it's really about a Good God getting into us. Actually, the last time you and I were grateful was also the last time we were joyful.


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