The New Year brings up a lot of different things for a lot different people, and especially this year, the overwhelming changes involved in many of our traditions and routines has put somewhat of a damper on our ability to embrace gratefulness.
It has become increasingly difficult to find gratitude in the midst of difficulty because I don’t think we were very good at making thankfulness a priority when things were better (or at least less intense).
And so here we are–wondering how exactly to move forward and what gratitude might look like moving forward. But the whole deal is that gratitude is a heart posture that isn’t changed by the whims and worries of the world.
I was reading my daily devotional the other day (New Morning Mercies–it’s fabulous), and Paul David Tripp said something that really struck a chord with me: “Contentment celebrates grace. The contented heart is satisfied with the Giver and is therefore freed from craving the next gift.”
Our whole idea of thankfulness is often wrapped around forcing contentment in the physical possessions instead of resting in grace. Gratitude has somehow become a search for things we have instead of a resting into Who God Is.
The entire idea of gratitude has been skewed into tangibility instead of what is Eternal-minded. When we focus our eyes on what is Whole and Holy, there is a removal of self-focus that helps re-root our hearts in Joy instead of an anxiousness that turns our desire toward performance.
The direction of our eyes will influence the posture of our heart. Where we look for our Joy and fulfillment is where we will place our value. Just like the man Himself said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” And the same applies for gratitude–where our treasure is is where we will look for what to be grateful for, and when we feel we are failing in those areas of our lives we’re looking to for value, we will find gratitude exponentially difficult.
Gratitude is a heart posture that can only be permanently rooted in the Holiness of His Presence, and it demands humility–true thankfulness cannot exist where pride is rampant because we were built for worship and that is first and foremost rooted in acknowledging and living into the Goodness of God.
“A man who is eating or lying with his wife or preparing to go to sleep in humility, thankfulness and temperance, is, by Christian standards, in an infinitely higher state than one who is listening to Bach or reading Plato in a state of pride.” (C.S. Lewis)