In Manning's book, Ruthless Trust, we read "The foremost quality of a trusting disciple is gratefulness. Gratitude arises from the lived perception, evaluation, and acceptance of all of life as grace - as an undeserved and unearned gift from the Father's hand."
Like most of the quotes I'll be sharing, I read and re-read this portion. I had never seen gratitude and trust as being so closely linked but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. How can I trust someone that I do not know will always be there? And what better way to make sure that I remember what God can and will do for me than by being careful to be grateful?!
This past weekend, I attended the Women's Conference for the American Baptist churches in our region. In a discussion group time we were asked to talk about times that we had seen God's grace evidenced in our life. Grace was defined, for our purposes in this exercise, as "getting something we didn't deserve". As our group talked, it struck me that most (if not all) of what we were mentioning were everyday things - family, jobs, safety while commuting, kids who are turning out pretty well. I was a little ashamed at the fact that I rarely - if ever - thank God for any of it. At the very least, I'm not consistent in expressing how grateful I am.
I came home from the conference, determined to make sure that I see God's grace in those "everyday" moments. Like laughing with my family at the dinner table. Or sharing some SERIOUS belly laughs with my girls while I baked cupcakes that they were intent on frosting without my help. And now it's listening to them as they are in the living room watching "Meet the Robinson's and quoting their favorite lines (it's a family past-time to quote and/or sing along with our favorite movies!). I love hearing them enjoy one another's company and I still love to hear my kids laugh. It's one of the daily graces and I am ever so grateful for.
What about you? Are you ready to demonstrate your trust in Abba by looking for things each day that you can thank him for? It won't always be easy, I know, but I'm going to try. And if He keeps me doing it faithfully, guess that's one more display of his grace I should be thankful for, right?!