A Case for Gratitude 

written by Barb Howe
5 · 23 · 22

Gratitude can be defined as a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation, the way one feels for gifts or favors received that are sometimes unexpected or undeserved. It brings to mind some of my favorite birthday or Christmas gifts, as well as some of the happiest events in my life. 

Like everyone, I have ample reasons to be thankful.

For starters, I am thankful for my parents and others who taught me about God early in life. Despite the reality that they were both humanly flawed, there was never a time in my life when I did not sense their unconditional love for who I was: their child. They’re the ones who showed me by word and deed what it looks like to pass along good things to others.

Having a godly husband as I do, is another reason why I thank God for His blessings. Through the years, I have grown to respect the important role my husband fills in our life as the spiritual head of our home, modeling God’s design of servant leadership.

I’m grateful that I have lived long enough to become a grandmother. People often say if they knew how great it felt to be a grandparent, they would have done it sooner. I agree that being a grandparent is mind blowingly fabulous. I see it as a second chance to do better at the things I messed up so badly the first time around the parenting phase. 

But what about the things of life that don’t generate a warm and fuzzy feeling?

Day to day life has a way of throwing out unexpected challenges at us. The Bible reminds us to be grateful even when things don’t go our way. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). 

I don’t know about you, but this is a tough one for me. I have been known to fail miserably when life doesn’t go my way, especially when God’s answer to my prayers doesn’t meet my expectations. My fuse shortens and I forget to ask what God is trying to teach me through the trial. Thank God for His patience with me. That’s another reason why I’m grateful.

I anticipate things that are yet to become reality, prayers yet to be answered in ways I cannot imagine. Psalm 37:4 encourages us with the words: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” That’s future focused. When my heart’s desire is to glorify the Lord, nothing can disappoint. This mindset allows me to release my grandmotherly concerns to God and then step out of His way. So far, God has brought about unimaginable blessings, all according to His perfect timing. I know he can be trusted for what is yet to come.

At times, I try to imagine the heavenly realms and what it will be like to live forever in the presence of the Lord with the ones we love who have accepted Christ’s gift of salvation. These are things we can only dream about. Revelation 5 paints a picture of this glorious reality to come. This is among the greatest desires of my heart: to greet my family members and friends in God’s heavenly realm. It keeps me diligently praying that their names will be written in the Book of Life. 

It is with enormous gratitude that I accept my grandmotherly calling to share my faith, considering it an honor to proclaim to younger generations, “Christ is my Lord and Savior.” Thanks be to the Father for creating mankind in his image, and to Jesus Christ for offering a free gift of salvation to all who choose to believe in him. For this, I am eternally grateful.

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Author

Barb Howe

Barb Howe edits blog posts at christiangrandparenting.com . She is a contributing author for a Guideposts book, has been published in Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr., written multiple memoirs, and published numerous articles and posts for various organizations. "Stormy Encounters" is her first teen/YA work of fiction, available on Amazon in spring 2023. View "Wheels", the book's prequel short story at barbhowe.org.

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