The joke around here goes something like this, “Only in Missouri can you experience all four seasons…in one week.”
As I glance out our back windows, snowflakes swirl around the cherry tree blossoms and tulips in our backyard. Bizarre.
Cicero attributed gratitude as the highest form of character. From our thankful hearts all other virtues are birthed. Agree?
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” William Arthur Ward
“The dominant characteristic of an authentic spiritual life is the gratitude that flows from trust – not only for all the gifts that I receive from God, but gratitude for all the suffering. Because in that purifying experience, suffering has often been the shortest path to intimacy with God.” Brennan Manning
(Photo cred: Kristin L Hanley)
“Giving thanks in all circumstances is especially difficult while undergoing suffering. How can we be thankful when there’s something that hurts so much? We can give thanks in the midst of suffering because it is meant to enlarge our faith, not as punishment (2 Corinthians 4:17–18), and because it is redemptive, not random.
Our suffering is not punishment for our sin — because Christ has borne our punishment in our place (Romans 3:25). The demands of justice have been met. And our suffering is not random — because God is sovereign over it, and through it God is conforming us in the image of his Son (Romans 8:28–29).” Joseph Scheumann, Five Truths About Thanksgiving
I Thessalonians 5:18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Whatever the season outside–or within our hearts–we can choose to approach each day with a heart bowed in gratitude. Ice and snow may bombard you, but are you blooming in spite of it?