Bindings: Reflections on faith, life, and good books
11/2/12 at 12:11 AM 0 Comments

Gratitude

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Have you ever had one of those days where things did not go according to plan, or it just went downhill after you managed to crawl out of bed? The dog wouldn't even wag his tail as you walked by--but bared his teeth and snarled? People didn't smile at you, even if you smiled at them first? Or, you tried to handle some business by phone, but could not get through? I was recently handling something for my mother and got the recorded message, "All our representatives are currently helping other customers. Please remain on the line and the first available representative will take your call. You have a wait time of 45 minutes. Thank you."

If that phone call sounds crazy, I did not make it up—my wait time actually was 45 minutes. I simply put the call on speaker and worked on the computer until "my turn." Of course, once I got a live person, I was transferred a few times and had to explain myself each time, but I finally accomplished what I needed to do. Whew!

I said all that to say this: oftentimes, it is downright challenging to have an attitude of gratitude. Life happens, and it isn't always a bed of roses. (By the way, who coined that phrase? Why would a bed of roses represent something comfortable or something that turned out right? Roses have thorns, so why would one even want a bed of roses??). But I’m rambling about roses.

Something happened recently that upset me greatly. I just did not understand why those who had promised to do something had let me down, and then didn't even seem to care that they had broken their promise! I mean, it didn't really seem very important to them at all. (Before I proceed further, I want to make it clear that these people were not family members, thankfully.)

It wasn't something trivial, but rather important to me, actually. I knew my attitude was wrong, so I took it to the Lord in prayer. I asked for wisdom, a change of heart, and gratitude that so many other things in my life have gone so right. As I prayed and asked the Lord for His help in changing my hurt feelings, He brought to my mind all those things for which I am blessed. As I went over them in my mind, I could feel that my anger and resentment were just ebbing away. My pity party was over, and I was able to have victory over this hurt.

Oh, it is so easy to glibly tell people to let go of negative feelings, to pray about them, and to turn them over to the Lord, but it just isn't that easy to DO. I knew my anger and hurt would eventually subside on the surface, but I didn't want buried resentment, either. So, I thanked Him for all the things in my life, realizing that nothing happens in a Christian's life without God's permission—even so-called bad or negative things.

So why did this situation occur in my life? We don't always know why, but then, God is not obligated to explain Himself to us. We must simply trust Him and His reasons. I did decide that perhaps one reason was to make me take stock of myself. I am sure that there have been times in my life when I have let others down—maybe not intentionally—but rather than casting stones at others, I decided that I'd better look inwardly and make certain that my own life was what it should be.

I am grateful for my Lord who answers prayer. I could not have gotten rid of the resentful and hurt feelings on my own. I would have been able to go on, of course, but I didn't want to carry around the baggage of those feelings. He took them away, and for that, I have much gratitude.

It is no longer my problem now!

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the other.” –Cicero

In her 21-year career as an English teacher, Mavis Duke Hinton now teaches English online to students across the USA and several foreign countries. She grew up in a military family and lived abroad in Europe during her childhood. She has also been an editor for Christian and secular organizations, including Liberty University, as well as a police officer. She has taught Bible studies to all ages, from preschool children to adult women, and has spoken in educational conferences as well as women's groups from time to time. Married for forty-one years with two married daughters and three grandchildren, she has written two Christian fiction novels in The Dachshund Escapades series, I Am Sarge and I Am Dachshund, both published by OakTara.

www.MavisDukeHinton.com

www.blog.MavisDukeHinton.com

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