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"Give, and you will receive gifts--the full measure, compacted, shaken together and overflowing, will be put right in your lap.  For the measure with which you measure out will be used to measure back to you."  -Luke 6:38

Gratitude
by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of November 19, 2017

“ . . . Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”  -Hebrews 13:17 

        I once received an e-mail from my cousin, informing me that she had just begun a new job, which was a promotion with a new company. She said there were a lot of tears when she departed her former job and that the ladies in her office took her out to lunch and gave her flowers, gifts and a cake.  

        But the biggest surprise she received was a package days later from her former boss containing an angel figurine. It was about a foot tall and it was called, “The Grateful Angel.” Also inside the package was a note saying how grateful her boss was to have her as an employee and that she would be missed. 

        This intimate message touched my heart. It didn’t surprise me because having grown up with my cousin, I know well her sweet middle-child personality. When I asked her what she did to affect others so, she said that she responsibly did her own work and she also helped other team members catch up with theirs when they had been out due to illness or an emergency. When necessary, she came in early or stayed late without being asked. And she always remembered people's birthdays, even decorated their office spaces, because she wanted them to feel uniquely special. My cousin genuinely cared about them and her company. She met deadlines and didn't pry into other people's business. She was a team player; she wasn't concerned about receiving credit (which she left up to the Lord); and the "helps" gift He gave her touched their hearts. She didn't have to preach Jesus to them. They saw His love at work through her.

        Are we the kind of worker who would be missed? Does our attitude and our performance cause our bosses and colleagues to feel grateful we’re around? 
Do we honor our authorities, like the Bible says? Do we pray for them? Bless them? Even thank the Lord for them?

        Christian singer Sheila Walsh refers to gratitude as “walking a thank-you journey.”[1]  How true this is. Do we thank God for what He has given us in whatever season we’re in? Do we thank Him for having a job? An income? Do we ask the Holy Spirit to check our attitude? Do we bless others around us no matter how we feel on a particular day?  

        The dictionary defines grateful as “pleasing” and “agreeable.” This is consistent with the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians, where he sets forth rules for holy living. They include forgiving grievances, loving each other, walking in peace and unity, being thankful and singing unto God with gratitude in our hearts (Col. 3:13-17). 

         I recall once when I worked as a flight attendant, the Holy Spirit convicted me, saying, “You haven’t acknowledged me for the small things.” And He was right. It’s not easy to “feel” thankful amid exhaustion, chaos and deadlines.  But the Lord, nonetheless, expects us to be set apart, to come up higher. So I began to thank Him for the every day things that I hadn’t realized I had been taking for granted for years, like safe flights. And I asked Him to open my eyes wider to see more.

        Are there daily blessings you’ve taken for granted?

        Consider this: “...because the essence of the Father’s heart is love, He freely offers this gift to all who will come. Such love deserves a response of adoration and obedience from a grateful child to his loving heavenly Father.”[2]


Footnotes:
1-
Joy for a Woman’s Soul: Promises to Refresh Your Spirit (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999), p. 106.
2-
Barry Adams, Father’s Love Letter: An Intimate Message from God to You (Camp Hill, Pa.: Wing Spread Publishers, 2006), p. 50.

 

  


And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell


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