Gratitude Takes Nothing for Granted

happy kidsI was struck when I read this quote from Thomas Merton, a famed Catholic author:

“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything.  Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God.  For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience.  And that is what makes all the difference.”

As I reflect on 15 years of ministry, I can say with certainty that my experience over these years has shown me that God is indeed good.  God has provided for and protected our ministry; He has allowed us to experience radical life transformations, and has grown our influence in this community with each passing year.  Each day brings greater confirmation that the work we do is on the heart of God; we do not labor in vain.

I hope you know that when we receive your gifts - of time, finances and prayer - you inspire “praise of the goodness of God” in all of us here.  Your sacrifice and giving is not taken for granted, and I hope that we have proven to be grateful stewards in the way we treat you.

During this month of thanksgiving, I hope you are able to reflect on the “immense graces” from God in your life.  My prayer for you is that you will take nothing for granted, have a greater sense of wonder as you consider how God cares for you, and that this reflection will cause you to respond with great praise for the Lord.

From our family to yours, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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