By Morgan Stoecklein
Where have I found gratitude this year?
Isn’t that phrase funny? “Find” gratitude? Like it’s lost or hidden away. I have found it to be true that gratitude doesn’t just sneak up on me. I almost never accidentally find myself in a state of thanksgiving. And often I must be reminded by the people close to me, and the Magnolia Homes signs flooding my local Target, to “Be Thankful.”
This year, more than ever, I’ve found myself at Target. Oh! That’s not what I meant to say…
This year, more than ever, gratitude seems to be hiding. Yes, yes, that’s right. My heart hasn’t been overflowing with thankfulness the way it has before. I’ve had to look a little harder to see this abundant life that God has promised us. Not a life of abundance in the things we hold in our hands or can see with our eyes, but in the things much deeper, the things within. You see, I’ve given my life to Him, and He has promised in return a life here on earth, and into Heaven, that isn’t easy or perfect, but a life that will abound and overflow with a deep sense of spiritual fulfillment. A fulfillment that material things in this world could never offer. God isn’t the type to break a promise. When I keep my eyes fixed on Him, He will lead me to paths of gratitude.
This year, I’ve been looking. And I’ve found gratitude in some unexpected places.
I’ve found gratitude in all of my family around one table.
I even found it at Providence Urgent Care, when my cheerful yet empathetic nurse told me that there was a Rapid test available for me. My heart leaped!
I found it in 60 women, joined together on Zoom to celebrate the Good News of a man named Jesus.
And in 64 and sunny in mid-November
I’ve found it sitting at my kitchen table, watching my dear friend via Facebook live marry the love of her life.
I’ve found gratitude in a sweet surprise from a precious friend.
In a sunset cruise on the lake.
In an impromptu fireworks display, as far as the eye can see from the middle of nowhere on I-70.
Pizza at the park.
A Christmas pillow.
A shooting star.
The final piece of the puzzle.
Our first anniversary.
Chicken Pot Pie. (Anyone?)
A brand new fiddle leaf fig.
Some coconut cake.
An answered prayer.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
And along with all of these things I’ve found gratitude in being in a relationship with the Creator of the universe. When COVID cases rise, our Savior stays the same. When the weather drops below freezing I can find contentment in the warmth of God’s enduring love. Grateful despite cancelled adventures, and glad when yet another reunion is postponed. I will be overjoyed when I seek Him and find him, and in Him find gratitude.
I was lost, and now I’m found, my life hidden away with Christ. Not at home on earth, but longing for the day when I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving, for eternity.
Praying that you’ll seek and find Him this Holiday season.