My mother taught me and my siblings the power and value of having a grateful heart. I am the second oldest of 14 children, all from the same mother and father. I have a warm childhood memory of a particular lesson taught by my mother.
I grew up in the time where you got free light bulbs each time you paid your electric bill. That really was a different time and mentality on customer relations. Many times we were not able to pay the bill, so we were always short on light bulbs. I remember the times (seems like most of the time) when we only had one light bulb for the entire house. During the early evening hours that bulb would burn in the kitchen…the center of all activity.
When bedtime came around we had a ritual; my mother would reach up, using her apron to shield the heat from her hand, unscrew that light bulb, bring it upstairs, and put it in the hallway. As she would reach up to get the bulb in the kitchen, all her little children (like chicks to the mother hen) would gather around her, grabbing onto her house dress and begin the shuffle to and up the stairs in the dark.
I remember vividly during each of those journeys, my mother teaching us how grateful we should be because we had a light bulb. She told us about all the children in the world that didn’t have a light bulb, and so that began our bed-time prayer. “Dear God, thank you for this light bulb.”
My mother had so many reasons to be sad, depressed…to complain. But she never complained. My siblings and I were so blessed to have a mother who believed deeply in God. She taught us all from an early age that the seeds of depression will not take root in a grateful heart.
Today, take account, that is, seriously sit down and write a list of the many blessings you have…big and small. It is easy for us to become complacent or start to take God’s care, grace, love, provision, and sacrifice for granted. Make the effort to put on Godly lenses allowing you to develop and maintain a grateful heart.
Dear Father God, I am so spoiled. I have everything I need and yet I always want more. I seemed to always find something to complain about. Forgive me, Lord. Help me today and everyday to focus on all the blessings you have given me, and especially for the adversities that you lovingly use to grow me. Thank You for the shelter of my home, a bed to sleep in…for all the light bulbs in this house. I know that gratitude enables me to perceive You more closely and clearly and to rejoice in our love-relationship. I know, Father, that I will never be in control of all my life’s circumstances…but I relax in the fact that You are in control…and for that I am eternally grateful. I pray this and all prayers through our brightest Light bulb, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When I am afraid, I will trust in you.