Ultimate Joy

Posts Tagged ‘gratitude

The brunch buffet chefs made my choices difficult with such a mouthwatering, marvelous array. Hungry after a two-hour drive, I hustled through the culinary selections looking for something extraordinary amidst all the excellent enticements.

There were eggs and sausages, sandwiches and salads. After surveying the tempting abundance, my childish taste buds decided for me. I’d have my two favorite things – pancakes and pizza – mostly because I could. There aren’t too many brunch buffets that feature both, so this was way too much temptation to overcome.DSCN2427

After I made my way to a table and sat down, I thanked God for the bounty in front of me. Oh sure, this wasn’t an extreme high that I’d remember forever. But my meal, because it was so out of the ordinary, was something I would savor.  Thanking God for the opportunity to step away from an epicurean rut was important. After all, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tell us to “give thanks in all circumstances.”

It seemed so appropriate at the time; I marveled at God’s wisdom in asking us to scatter gratitude throughout our lives.  That’s because He knows gratitude gives birth to joy.

Joy is easy when you are staring at a plate filled with your two most favorite foods. But what about those dreary days when you are in a bad mood? What about those days when you feel so far from God that lifting a prayer of thanks from your lips seems impossible?

That’s precisely when giving thanks becomes paramount. The language of a grateful heart raises our soul from the muck of our intense difficulties or even just past the routine, passionless segments of the ordinary world. Gratitude changes the way we see our circumstances. Thanking God for who He is and for what He’s done changes our point of view despite turbulent events, broken dreams and unfulfilled longings.

When we feel distant from God, gratitude is the way back to Him. When we make the world larger than Him, gratitude returns us to intimacy with the One who made the world.

Even if it is nothing earthshaking, but just pancakes and pizza, realizing what God provides changes your perspective and brightens your day. Acknowledging His presence magnifies Him. Thankfulness makes experiencing God easier in the clutter, rush or disappointment of our days. Giving thanks always makes us better able to see, touch, taste and feel the deep goodness of God.

But most importantly thankfulness makes us hungry for even more of Him.