Warming God’s heart

For most of us, it warms our hearts to see our gifts delighting loved ones.

Is it so for God as well?  I believe it is.

He loves to give us good gifts in life.  And he loves it when we are thankful.

Remember the story in Luke 17 of the 10 lepers Jesus healed?

They pleaded for Jesus to heal them and he asked them to go show themselves to the priests.  They were healed as they obeyed his instructions.

Only one – a despised Samaritan – returned to Jesus and sank to the ground, praising God with a loud voice.  The others did not.

Jesus asked: “Didn’t I heal 10 men? Where are the other nine?  Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”

This may sound like a complaint by Jesus.  I don’t think it is.  He wanted to teach his listeners the importance of giving thanks to God.

Why?  Because it shows that we realize that God is pouring out blessings every minute of every day.  It shows us what our true relationship is with God.  We are dependent upon him even for being able to breathe.

Gratitude actually transforms us as many believers have found.  It is something I frequently forget.  But when I do give thanks to God it usually changes my outlook on life and brings peace and even joy.

I need to make this a daily practice in my life as Ann Voskamp has.

The author of One Thousand Gifts says she took up a friend’s challenge to write down one thousand gifts she received from God in the coming months.

She did and her life was changed.  As she noticed the little things we so often ignore in life, she  felt the joy of God growing in her.  And her friends and family observed her transformation, too.

But what about the terrible things that happen?

She mentions the death of a neighbour child – a time when she cried out to God: “Why?”

Like everyone else, she came up with no easy answers.  But she trusted God’s perspective on life was better than hers.

And as she worked her way through her questions, she recalled the words of G.K. Chesterton: “Here dies another day, during which I have had eyes, ears, hands and the great world around me.  And with tomorrow begins another.  Why am I allowed two?”

While we may not understand life’s tragedies, we can find God’s grace in the gift of life itself and the good things we receive every day.

God loves us deeply even when we ignore him.

But he is pleased when we delight in him and his gifts.

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