“Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20
Ingratitude is like a cancer. Untreated and unrestrained, it can grow out of control, taking over our joy. It is capable of taking our eyes off of the Lord. Our focus can shift from our many blessings to the pain of trial. It is a humble heart that offers praise and thanks to the Lord in all circumstances.
I recently (like yesterday) found myself in a place of what I like to call ‘pseudo-gratitude’. I had been professing with my heart how grateful I am to the Lord for His presence during times of trial, but my heart was feeling something different…ingratitude.
We have a leak under our sink in the kitchen. This has been going on for quite some time. The leak is within the wall. As contractors have come in to take down drywall and remove cupboards the damage has been found to be greater than we expected. BUT! It’s all repairable. There is nothing that can’t be taken care of. So, why am ungrateful?
I am learning that I am very rigid. I am a bit of a germiphobe and I like things clean and tidy. I don’t like disorder; it seems to jumble my brain. So, as my kitchen becomes increasingly unusable…on its way to becoming repaired…I find myself begrudged with the circumstances.
And yet, I put on a fancy façade that everything is just fine.
Then the words of my heart surfaced and I exploded and my tongue was bitter. I unleashed a fury of unkindness at my husband. The same man whose job is to educate and instill life into ungrateful teens. The man who spends his days fielding complaints and obscenities. He expects their ingratitude. He does it without complaint. He doesn’t expect that they will be grateful, but he does expect that his wife will be. After all, his wife claims to live at the foot of the Cross.
SO, while I went about my day merrily singing a song of gratitude (with my mouth), my heart was singing of all the annoyance I was facing…leaky pipes, moldy drywall, missing cupboards. I grew increasingly annoyed as I had to walk a mere ten feet to the laundry room to fill the kettle. I stomped my way into the dining room where all of my clean towels were placed after then cabinetry had been dismantled.
Then it struck me, but not until after I lambasted my husband, that I was living in ‘pseudo-gratitude’.
I blamed my fit on being tired. I blamed it on my headache (the one I claimed came from all of this watery inconvenience). I blamed it on the fact that I just had too much to do in a day. Oh woe is me. All this blaming was about my complete and total act of ingratitude.
I wasn’t being grateful for what I do have. The fact that I have running water to fill a kettle…and a sink in the laundry room. Grateful for the insurance company that has so quickly and willingly come to our rescue. Grateful for the stove that works to heat our dinner. Grateful for the abundant blessings that I am so undeserving of, and yet the Lord lavishes me daily…moment by moment in His goodness.
I stopped spewing fury. I stepped away from the situation and found myself, again, at the foot of the Cross-repenting. I cried out to the Lord to forgive me and change my heart; help me to see the goodness and to have a grateful heart. I repented to my husband. He held me close and repented too. We are grateful. We live in gratitude. Life isn’t about leaky pipes or inconvenience, it’s about the Lord and living in His presence and finding peace and thanksgiving in all circumstances. It’s about acknowledging that while we may struggle, we are loved and provided for by a God who created us to endure in His grace.
Today my heart will be grateful…and my mouth will sing truly of my gratitude.
Thank you for your gift of forgiveness. Thank you for softly lighting us and changing our hearts. Thank you for moment by moment grace. Thank you for your mercy and your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.