“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.”
— A.W. TOZER (1897–1963)
It is a golden paradox of means to observe the clarity with which the poor and disadvantaged live. Most of these, given even the most simplistic of practical resources, are abundantly thankful. Shoes, a hat, a meal, a bed – things we, the comparatively rich, take for granted.
Clarity for life opens us up to gratitude, for we are able to see clearly how blessed we truly are. And as we see clearly, clarity opens up more, and we begin to understand the cherished gift is simply being grateful, even possibly in the midst of circumstances we find deplorable – as there is a silver lining to every cloud. It is up to us to find it.
As we turn up the heat on our candour for life, we may even find God requiring us to be grateful, and this is indicated in the fact that by gratitude we are blessed. We are made richer, not poorer, for our offerings of thankfulness as they ripple through the lives of those we touch.
Gratitude is a privilege; a requited opportunity of praise for the honour it is to live this life, notwithstanding the myriad pain we may deal with.
We thank God when we thank his people – our leaders and his servants. Whatever we do for them we do for him. It is like pleasing someone we don’t have to please, for in pleasing them we bless them volitionally. Love speaks vibrantly and vocally when we are not mandated to do something, yet we do it with joy by choice.
When we take advantage of the opportunity to be grateful something wonderful happens within us; God reminds us of his presence and there is no reality like it. To be grateful is to honour that person or process who or that deserves recognition.
The simpler we keep our gratitude, the more powerful it may be known. We are grateful because we can be, not because we are made to be.
God wants us to be grateful, and in our gratitude, besides pleasing the Lord, we are ourselves blessed. Pleasing God is pleasing ourselves by the plainest of paths.
Gratitude not only costs nothing, it repays us in kind; a graciousness that the world doesn’t understand, and may even be initially suspicious of.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.