The Growing Need for Gratitude

 

I wake to self-hatred. To the wrestle to get it all done, the relentless anxiety that I am failing. Always, the failing. I yell at children, fester with bitterness, forget doctor appointments, lose library books, live selfishly, skip prayer, complain, go to bed too late, neglect cleaning the toilets. I live tired. Afraid. Anxious. Weary.

Would I ever be enough, find enough, do enough? ~One Thousand Gifts, pg. 27

It's a back and forth struggle--the balance between trying to do enough and be enough with trying to remember, to believe, that He did enough to make me enough. This doesn't exempt the need to try, rather it enables me to do. Because what I cannot reach, He completes.

Source: kristanlynn.com via Mo on Pinterest

So while I strive with walking the life worthy of His calling, I also rest in the grace that He has finished what I could not. Both are necessary.

How can I accomplish both simultaneously? It's always the cross first. It's always from the inside out--not the other way around. Because my outside actions cannot change the inside of my heart.

What is the mystery to joy? To living a life pleasing to Him, yet resting in His grace when we fail to live up to our standards?

How can I live fully alive?

I've resisted this truth simply because I didn't discover it. How prideful is that? I thought, "Well, this won't be life changing for me simply because it's not mine."

I was wrong.

Because before it was Ann's, it was someone else's--and someone else's before her...

...and yet, they are changed.

God gives grace to the humble...

...I wasn't receiving because I was full of pride. I actually stopped the flow myself by refusing to dig into and live out a truth that I had not discovered on my own.

Wow. That's humiliating in and of itself.

But how many times we do that? We let our pride stand in the way of what God has for us? As if we are too good for what He offers us. What about pride that says we are too bad for what He's given us? We were reborn into Christ when we chose to live for Him. The sinful self has died...but we continue to run back to it. Why?

I don't know about you...but me? It's because I believe that's what I deserve. It's like Javier in Les Miserables. He was so obsessed with the law and following it to the letter, that He could not allow someone {Valjean} to extend him mercy and forgiveness when he broke the law. No, Javier wanted to punish himself for his "crime" because that's what he deserved, according to the law.

This is the beauty of it---Jesus fulfilled that part of the Law so we wouldn't have to. Before His death and resurrection, yes, we were recipients of it! But He took it upon Himself to take what we deserved! This isn't new revelation for us, but often times, we don't live that way!

We choose to live in denial and instead believe we should punish ourselves.

Do we not trust His words to us? Because if we are not living as if we do, then maybe we don't.

What does all this have to do with gratitude?

Simply this:

If we cannot see, believe, and live what Jesus Christ has done for us, we will not be in a position to give thanks.

We will be blind, of no faith, and die in our sins. If we are professing Christians, we should not be living  a self-punishing, shameful life. If we really believe it is finished, then we need to live that it is so.

Let us begin this living with gratitude.

  1. the comfort of home on a rainy day
  2. sweet-smelling autumn candle
  3. letter from my sponsored child, Cecelia
  4. cold, clean water
  5. the smell of cookies baking fresh
  6. cookies before dinner
  7. play time with Elizabeth
  8. God's grace on my selfish heart
  9. time at Starbuck's
  10. baby smiles
  11. generous people

 

 

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