Growing Deep Roots of Gratitude

Growing Deep Roots of GratitudeThese 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.


  1. I am thankfull for being able to feel once again. After, my sisters kidnapped me and made me attend WOF…I then drove myself to a church the following week and started a bible study with women I had never met. It was your series “Malachi” I was reminded of a love I had years ago with the Lord.

    After suffering a loss of my 22 yr old I was finally able to wake up one morning and put on makeup and embrace being a mother, wife and a woman again…. Only to be told my husband is now ill… as my mother always told me…Victoria, get back up, brush yourself off and keep on (I) can do this!

    Malachi 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse..

    Thank you for being a real and honest…woman of faith

  2. Lisa, I was really blessed reading what you wrote–

    “Recent experience has shown me how remembering those bad things can actually bring divine goodness and mercy into sharper focus.”

    I like what the Holy Spirit had Paul say in 2 Corinthians 1

    2 Corinthians 1:3-4
    New King James Version (NKJV)

    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

    When I was an agnostic and an atheist and God did not leave me there–

    I can now speak God’s grace and comfort to those who are now saying

    that they are an agnostic or an atheist.

    I see in my life that I have grown most in the Lord when I have been totally dependent on Him.

    I like what the Holy Spirit spoke through the Apostle Paul

    2 Corinthians 1:8-11
    New King James Version (NKJV)

    Delivered from Suffering

    8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.

    I have felt many times in my life like I was going to die and so far God has pulled me through each time.

    All I can do is praise and thank Him forever.