A Thankful Heart—or a Heart of Praise
“…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything” (Ephesians 5:20 niv).
“Develop an attitude of praise,” our pastor told us in his Sunday message. “It will change your life.”
I decided to take him up on it, much to my family’s irritation. No matter what or who they complained about, I reminded them of something to be thankful for.
This went on all week. If it rained, I thanked God it didn’t flood. If it was too hot, I was thankful for our air conditioner. If our children complained about getting up in the morning, I told them to be thankful they could walk, reminding them of my friend’s two boys who had to be carried everywhere. When two ladies talked out loud during the church service, I told our family to be thankful they could be there, with both their husbands in wheelchairs.
One day I received a letter from our denominational publishing house. “See,” I said, “holding it up. “I sold an article.” I opened the envelope and found…a bill for our church magazine subscription.
This didn’t stop me, however. I continued to drive my family crazy finding a reason to be thankful for everything.
Soon, though, things changed. In the space of a few months my mother died of cancer, and my husband had a serious car accident, then a heart attack which led to a retirement at the age of 48. The needs and drama of three teen-agers in a span of seven years increased the stress.
How can I be thankful in everything? I often asked myself. Then one day while listening to the words of a song, the answer came to me: Being thankful is for things God gives to us, but giving praise is for who He is!
Even now, 30 years later— with my husband’s death this year, our daughter and me both having torn rotator cuffs and pneumonia, another daughter and family moving out of state, our son off work for six weeks with heart problems, plus myriad home repairs—realizing who God is–my strength, my comfort, my healer–makes it easier for me to have a thankful heart and a heart of praise.
What are you especially thankful for this Thanksgiving season?