The Attitude of Gratitude

Our days with Sherlock are drawing to a close.

Last night, as I was tucking Teddy in, he said, “I love it when Sherlock comes up to me and puts his head on my lap. He’s so cute.”

“He just wants love,” I replied.

“I hope he gets a lot wherever he goes next,” he said.

It nearly broke my heart.

We have been praying for a good home for Sherlock.

I’ve been telling all of my friends about the old gentleman, searching frantically for a place for him. He’s a tough sell:

Free to good home: Blind, deaf, old, male dog. Prone to walking off of porches and bumping into things. Occasionally takes a dump the size of Kansas in discrete household spaces. But only when he gets lost. Needs a Seeing Eye person. Makes a good snuggle bunny.

If only dogs could talk. I have a lot of questions for our sweet houseguest. Like: What happened to your family? Have you known love? How did you get to be in the shape you are in today?

Sometimes life isn’t fair. I’ve been struggling a bit lately with gratitude.

During my morning quiet time, I’ve found myself whining and complaining to God. “Please, Lord, please,” I’ve found myself pleading, “Please do something about this!”

And then I launch into a litany of fears and desires and dissatisfactions…

As I sat on my dining room floor in the dark the other morning, it occurred to me that perhaps I might approach the throne of the Lord Almighty with a bit more reverence.

Watching Sherlock regain his health in the past few days has opened my eyes to many things. Gentle dog. He is so grateful for the tiniest bit of affection. Even if I inadvertently step on his little paw, he noses me gently as if to say, “It’s okay. I trust you. I know you don’t want to hurt me.”

If only my character held such faithfulness. When I or someone I love is hurt, I find my first reaction is, “Why, Lord?”

Not: “I trust in you, Lord.” Not: “I know you don’t want to hurt me, Lord.” Certainly not: “It’s okay.”

Instead of trusting, I accuse. Instead of praising, I question.

Now, I’m all about being real with God. I know that He knows the deepest places of my heart. I believe it’s beneficial to speak my heart to my Father.

However…

Is that really what I am doing when I complain and question and petition endlessly? Is this really my heart?

If I am true to what I believe, I will not give in to these fleshly weaknesses. I know that the Lord has plans for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Plans for a hope and a future. I also know that suffering builds perseverance. His word offers assurance for every circumstance.

Above all, this is what I believe. But I don’t always act accordingly. And I certainly don’t always pray accordingly.

I have been working hard this week to speak to my Father with love. To praise Him and remember His faithfulness to me. He has blessed me in so many ways. But sometimes, I let the distractions of today cloud my memory.

There are so many distractions, Dear Ones. We must not forget His faithfulness. We must never cease to praise. When I am filled with dissatisfaction and anxiety; that becomes my focus. But when I praise Him for His faithfulness, Dear Ones, I am filled with the joy there is in Him!

Sherlock, in his sweet simplicity, understands how gratitude fulfills. As Thanksgiving approaches, take some time with the Lord. Write down how He has blessed you. Not just now. Not just last week or last year. But look back at your entire history. And praise Him. Praise Him with all your heart. You will be blessed. You will see the world differently. People will cease to be an annoyance and will become your brothers and sisters. Life will be filled with abundance! Happy Thanksgiving, Beloved!

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