However, this whirlwind of thankfulness got me to thinking about how much we focus on our physical blessings – people and things – and sometimes forget to focus on the Giver of those blessings.
I love the Jesus Calling devotion book, and try to read it every morning, and today I have a confession to make – although I normally try to only read the current day’s devotion, I peeked ahead at the daily readings for the week. And I’m so glad I did, because I read the most beautiful words, and wanted to share them below:
“A THANKFUL ATTITUDE opens windows of heaven. Spiritual blessings fall freely onto you through those openings into eternity. Moreover, as you look up with a grateful heart, you get glimpses of Glory through those windows. You cannot live in heaven, but you can experience foretastes of your ultimate home. Such samples of heavenly fare revive your hope. Thankfulness opens you up to these experiences, which then provide further reasons to be grateful. Thus, your path becomes an upward spiral: every increasing in gladness.
Thankfulness is not some sort of magic formula: it is the language of Love, which enables you to communicate intimately with Me. A thankful mind-set does not entail a denial of reality with its plethora of problems. Instead, it rejoices in Me, your Savior, in the midst of trials and tribulations. I am your refuge and strength, an ever-present and well-proved help in trouble.”
Although the entire reading is beautiful, my favorite part of this devotion was the analogy of windows. I have never thought of thankfulness as a window into heaven, giving us glimpses of Gods glory in a new way. Instead I have always thought of thankfulness as simply a heart-felt expression and reaction to God’s goodness – not a proactive measure of looking into heaven and gaining spiritual clarity that allows us to see further reasons to be grateful.
But I also loved the term “upward spiral of gladness” because so often we consider problems in our lives to be leading us to a downward spiral. Things get worse and worse, and problems continue, or new difficult situations present themselves – and we feel as if we are on a downward spiral of despair.
How uplifting to know that having something as simple as a thankful heart focused on the Giver of blessings, can turn us around completely, and put us on an upward spiral of gladness instead – even from the bottom of the deepest pit.
This devotion reminded me that Thanksgiving is a time to be connected to God in a special way by remembering that thankfulness is a life style, not a holiday, and that a truly thankful heart allows us to get a glimpse about our lives from Gods perspective. A peek through His windows, instead of the windows tainted with the hardships of our life which often block our upward view of His goodness.
I am positive that the view of my life from Gods window is much more beautiful than my own and I want to see thankfulness not as a way to simply express gratitude to God during one season of the year, but as a way to catch glimpses of heaven, putting me on “an upward spiral of gladness” all year long.
What window have you been looking through lately?