We’ve all heard the cliché,”you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.” A broken friendship, strained marriage, loss of a loved one, empty nest, or health crisis can all give meaning to this phrase if we errantly take for granted the blessings each of these scenarios present before the change in season. Sometimes the transition is sudden or drastic and we find ourselves unprepared for what we’ve lost. It is precisely in these moments that we would be better served in handling the trial without the burden of regret resulting from an ungrateful heart.
As Christians, God calls us to higher wisdom in this regard – we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. This virtue is perfectly woven in the tapestry of loving our neighbor as ourselves. We would be hard pressed to find examples of how we take “ourselves” for granted because gratitude for self is easy to come by. So if we nurture the self so freely, shouldn’t we also, in unabashed humility, nurture the gifts God has granted us with as well by looking to love and appreciate the human hearts and circumstances around us?
We didn’t earn our loving spouse, our children are not a first place prize, good health isn’t the result of a winning lottery ticket, and the family who loves and supports us is not a reward of merit. Rather, each of these are gifts – gifts from an adoring Father who has “taken” each of us in His arms and laid undeserving “blessings” at our feet each day out of pure and ardent love for us. God doesn’t take us for granted. He proved His gratitude when He sacrificed His only Son so that we all may have the grace of forgiveness and eternal salvation. Let us show our appreciation by beginning each day with a conscious decision to “… give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20
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