Reflections by the Sea: Gratitude
By Betsy Ore Glass
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. – Colossians 3:16 NIV
The definition of gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation. With Thanksgiving Day barely behind us, there is a desire in many of us for the joy and gratitude of this time to linger on past just a few days or so. While Thanksgiving Day is often spent with family and friends or just quietly alone in observance, it gives us a reason to stop and ponder the blessings of the past year. God’s blessings don’t always arrive on our doorstop with great fanfare, though. Sometimes it is the simplest of things that we can see God’s hand in. I believe that if we look carefully, we can see God in the big and little things in our day. It is so easy to take responsibility and credit ourselves for all the good that happens. Yes, our efforts do not go unnoticed, but all good things come from God.
So, you might ask, when things get tough, is that God, too? The answer is that He allows things at times to build us up. Make us stronger. Build spiritual muscle. But it doesn’t matter what is happening at the moment. The real key to having a heart of gratitude is to be grateful no matter how good or bad things are. Genuine gratitude doesn’t succumb to disappointment or that feeling of lack. Maybe things aren’t going well at all, but there is always at least one thing that we can be grateful for like having a Heavenly Father that loves us so much. Gratitude also promotes joy. Some of the richest, joy-filled people I know don’t appear to have any luxuries in life, yet they are grateful for each day and the opportunity to serve God in peace. To develop a heart of gratitude, we might think of something to be grateful for during this time of Thanksgiving and offer our thanks to God for all He has done and continues to do.
Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or read additional Reflections at www.betsyoreglass.com.
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