Upon reflection of this holiday season the word “gratitude” overwhelms me. My gratitude begins so easily with all the good things, my Savior and His sacrifice, my husband and kids, family, the meaningful work God has called me to do, our home, health—well, you get the idea. But do I sincerely have gratitude for the all things?
Christ tells us, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Really? In ALL circumstances? Who really gives thanks for broken water pipes, a challenging teen, a terrifying medical diagnosis or loss of job? God really wanted me to meditate on this scripture and then challenged me to live it.
When I hear the terrifying situations that have brought kids into our care, how can I give thanks? How can they? They can and they do, much quicker than I! They are so thankful to sleep where they are clean and safe.
One young lady recently told me her mom’s abuse taught her to be patient. She is very thankful that she is patient. She considers it one of her finest qualities.
Another one of the guys said he would never have prayed for help if he hadn’t been hurting. His gratitude is that someone heard him and for his Savior. Even in their affliction, they are able to show gratitude.
Often when I talk to God it’s all about me, what I want, what my troubles are. I would be so much better off if I were to spend more time praising God, thanking him for his goodness and love. Giving thanks in hard times can be so hard to do, but I’ve found that when I do it has the effect of changing my heart and my outlook. By giving thanks God gives us hope and a new light of hope.
In expressing gratitude for the good and the bad, God gives me hope. So now I have had an adjustment to my attitude of gratitude. It is an expansion of my attitude to include ALL circumstances so that I may grow in Him and have hope. My gratitude includes hurting children who have hope.
Christi Moffett is senior director of marketing at Sunrise Children’s Services in Mt. Washington.