Friday, October 10, 2014

"The Graciousness of Gratitude"

     "May I help you, ma'am?" began our brief time of encounter.   I suspect, however, that the dear lady's response will be with me for a lifetime.

     Passing through the cake mix aisle (a favorite venue of grocery stores!), I encountered a woman sitting in a motorized vehicle.  She gazed toward the top shelf of the mixes, and seemed as if she might attempt to reach for one.  I offered to help, seeing that it would be difficult for the woman to negotiate the distance between her vehicle and the mix.  A huge smile lit up her face as she responded, "Oh no, honey, I've got all my groceries.  I'm just looking to see what they have for next time!"  I wasn't prepared for the comments that followed.  "But thank you so much!  That is so sweet of you, praise the Lord, and you are so kind!"  I responded that she was more than welcome as she proceeded to express for several more moments her heartfelt and effusive appreciation.

    As I walked away, this sweet lady's graciousness of gratitude elicited my own similar offering, to the Lord.  "Praise You, Father, and thank You for such a gift and blessing!"  A thought occurred to me, one that we've expressed often in these messages, and that now graced my heart in vivid and beautiful confirmation.

    "The prayer of the upright is His delight" (Proverbs 15:8).

    Our Heavenly Father not only desires our communication with Him.  He delights in it!  Our offerings of thanksgiving may especially bless His heart when we express thanksgiving for the truth that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17).  In the wake of the special moments I spent with the lady, I considered how my very small offer of help had led to my very large feeling of joy as known by the woman's appreciation.  "So, Lord, this is how You feel when we express gratitude?"  Indeed, we may well bless Him as much or more than He blesses us when a simple "Thank You" finds its way from our hearts to the heart of God.

    David once wondered, "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?" Job amplified the thought: "What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him?" (Psalm 8:4; Job 7:17).  Indeed, how can our prayers mean so much to One so much greater than ourselves?  What "delight" can He possibly find in our offerings?  I do not know.  Of this I am sure, however: a dear lady revealed to me the gift of the graciousness of gratitude in a few brief moments filled with a brilliant magnitude of realization that our prayers mean far more to our Heavenly Father than we can possibly imagine…

"The Lord taketh pleasure in His people."
(Psalm 149:4)

Weekly Memory Verse
   The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
(Proverbs 22:28)

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