Gratitude paves the way for growth. This is the most important lesson I have learned in my life.
There is an element of humbleness that gratitude brings that makes us focus – it makes us pay attention to the little things, hence giving you the ability to enjoy them in a deeper way. This humbleness also adds a sense of awe to one’s life, in which, just as children, we can be mesmerized by life’s daily miracles.
This sense of humbleness also opens a door to a greater understanding of grace. And when we understand grace, mercy, forgiveness and restoration, we have understood the gospel. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul alone wrote 46 times about the importance of giving thanks.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus, reads 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Now, the key to gratitude is the “in all circumstances” portion of the scripture. It is easy to be grateful when things are good, but when circumstances are tough, that is when we find it more challenging. The exhortation from the Apostle Paul comes from the knowledge that expressing gratitude, even in difficult circumstances, aligns us with God’s will and that is what brings peace to our lives. Much of the anxiety and depression people currently carry, comes from a lack of understanding God’s will and His peace.
Acknowledging God’s will and exercising gratitude brings me clarity about God’s plan for me. I have learned that I will come out of the painful process faster, learn more about God’s character, and learn more about myself when I practice thankfulness.
So, yes, I am grateful for my loving husband and our 3 energetic boys. I am grateful for my parents, in-laws, siblings, nieces, nephews and extended family. I am grateful for my job, for Proyecto Fe. I am grateful for my friends. But, oh, I am most grateful for those moments in which pain or difficult circumstances have brought me closer to God. Yes, gratitude paves the way for growth. Praised be the Lord for that.