Thursday, May 9, 2013

Receiving with gratitude

"I will. . .open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

I wonder how often we fail to be grateful for our blessings, or even resent things that we should recognize as blessings and be grateful for, because we're too busy focusing on what we lack, or how we would prefer that the blessings come.

We all have particular things we don't like to ask for help on: maybe its that you have fallen on financially hard times and have to ask for assistance, and that stings; maybe its that you're used to being the one always doing everything for everybody and suddenly find yourself ill and having to rely on the good works of others to survive your life; maybe its that you're in emotional turmoil, and it humiliates you to ask for counsel or support from someone else.  Or maybe its that there is a particular person that you hate having to ask for help, and it seems that that's always where you end up needing to turn.  Or maybe its just that the timing is particularly humbling.  Whatever the case, we all have times when asking for help hurts our pride.

And too often, instead of genuinely humbling ourselves, we focus on just that: our hurt pride.  We become bitter and resentful, rather than grateful that our needs have been provided for.  The Lord does promise to pour out blessings if we are faithful, he promises to meet our needs, but I can't recall any time or circumstance where he has promised to do so in a manner that is pleasing to, or at least avoids bruising, our pride.  In fact, its quite the opposite, usually.

We find a lot more happiness and contentment and peace in our lives when we start to let go of that silly pride and simply recognize and be grateful for the fact that the provision has been made.  Too often, we resent the conduit through which the blessing comes, rather than sincerely and without qualification thanking the Lord as the true provider of the blessing.

What silly, small creatures we can be.  We can be so bitter with our wounded pride, thinking ourselves so much more worthy than what we receive, when in fact, we are hardly ever entirely worthy of the blessings that pour down us.  Pride, which thinks itself so big, shrinks the soul.  Gratitude and humility enlarge it.

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