These are the things I go over and over, emptying out the pockets of my life. . . . Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving—celebrating, all of us, God’s feast!
—Psalm 42:4 msg
I’ve been thinking about becoming more grateful. Which is apropos since today is Thanksgiving. I’ve always loved this particular holiday. I love the crazed grocery store runs late the night before when we realize we need more rolls or forgot to get marshmallows for the sweet potato casserole.
My mom taught me years ago that Thanksgiving is about remembering to focus on good things, even in the presence of bad things. Recent experience has shown me how remembering those bad things can actually bring divine goodness and mercy into sharper focus. In the context of being lost, being found is more wondrous. In the context of being persecuted, finding acceptance is more precious. In the context of being sick, being healed is more miraculous.
So I don’t want to forget all the mistake-filled chapters in my story, such as when I ran away from home during a teenage tantrum and got pneumonia after being foolish enough to pout outside during a thunderstorm. Or when I ran away from my senses a few years later and into the arms of a young man who only wanted one thing from me, and it certainly wasn’t my undying love.
Apart from Jesus, I’m a faithless prodigal waiting to happen. But I’m learning that the roots of gratitude grow deepest in the sober soil of remembering how hopeless my life is without God.
Excerpted from Daily Gifts of Grace. Copyright ©2012 by Thomas Nelson. Published by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.