The Gratitude Test…
Welcome to the fourth and final week of the Gratitude Series! We’ve looked at the power of a grateful heart, lessons from the ungrateful, and prayers of a grateful heart. So here’s the gratitude test: Are we becoming more grateful? I’ve been amazed at “the practice what you preach” opportunities I’ve been given. Here’s just one example.
A couple of weeks ago, I went out to run an errand. It was night-time and on the way home, I noticed a sleek little sports car in the lane to my left. Suddenly, the car seemed so close I thought we would crash. I blew my horn but the car kept moving towards me. Eventually, the car forced me out of my lane and off the road.
As I drove slowly on the shoulder of the road, I wondered if the other car would continue to come closer. By now, the shoulder was coming to an end and I thought I would put an end to this almost fatal fiasco.
“But even when I fail the gratitude test, God’s grace is there to help me see what I’ve been missing.”
I put on brakes and I said out loud, “What was that about?” Then I said, “Thank you Lord for keeping me from having an accident.” Gratitude began to swell in my heart. I knew my near miss could have ended much differently. Eventually, I slowly pulled back into traffic, but I was curious to see who this reckless driver was.
As we approached the stop light I glanced over at the sports car. To my surprise the driver was also looking at me. There was an elderly woman with her passenger side window rolled down. As I drove past her, she was shouting, “I’m sorry! I am so sorry!” I don’t think she ever saw me until I stopped on the shoulder of the road. She must have been just as shaken up as I was. As the pace of the traffic picked up, I didn’t get a chance to respond. I prayed that she would make it home safely.
Life can mirror my experience that night. We can feel sure of our lane and our destination and then the unexpected or the unthinkable happens. As we seek to adjust, we may “blow the horn” in an attempt to stop the unwanted that’s coming our way.
But in the intensity of the moment, I was grateful God had a shoulder on the road for me to swerve onto that night. I see it as His grace — that place He allows us to land to preserve what He’s doing in our lives. When the unthinkable or the unwanted shows up on the path of my life, I’m learning to look for the shoulder on the road. It may not be my preference but it is what God provides where and when I need it most.
Whether you feel like you’re moving forward or feeling shoulder bound, here’s some good news: the gratitude test comes to each of us. We can pass each time if we look for the grace God has given us in Christ. But even when I fail the gratitude test, God’s grace is there to help me see what I’ve been missing — and that brings hope to my heart and joy to my soul. Happy Thanksgiving!
Acknowledge that the Lord is God. He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. – Psalm 100:3-5 NLT
“What are you becoming more grateful for?”
(Share your thoughts in the comment section.)