I am taking part in Rachel Olsen's Devotional Carnival on gratitude, a natural topic for this time of year. But, I have to admit, this topic gives me a little tension. Not that I'm not grateful for the life I live. On the worldy side of things, I am extremely blessed. I am able to be a stay at home mom which I recognize is somewhat of a luxury these days. I am grateful that we have a warm house, food in the pantry, cars that run, one for each of us even, and our health. I have a lot to be grateful for, recognizing that God has blessed us richly. Just watching the 6:00 news reminds me that I live in this little utopia.
Can you feel the tension rising? I read somewhere that the enemy to a great life is a good life. Living a life where we don't have to struggle much makes it very easy to grow complacent. Of course I realize that all good things come from above (James 1:17), but sometimes, it is easy to let a prayer of gratitude turn into the Pharisee's prayer of thanking God that you aren't like "them". Whoever "they" are...I don't want my recognition of the blessings God has bestowed on us to seem superior to the life He has set someone else into. Does that make any sense? For whatever reason, God, in His Sovereignty, has set me in this place, in this time, in this circumstance. If I had been born in the slums of Haiti, He would still want me to have a grateful heart.
While I'm busy being grateful for the life I have, the people I love, and the God who saved me, I want to remember that gratitude is a state of being, not a state of circumstance.