Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankfulness Is A Window Into Heaven

I read the most beautiful thing this morning in the Jesus Calling devotional book by Sarah Young. Since I could not say it any better, I just wanted to share it with you.

"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."

My favorite part of this devotion, is 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.

Of course, I realize that Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful, and that God calls us to be thankful every day of the year. However, I want to see thankfulness not as a way to simply show gratitude to God, but also as a way to see a little bit of heaven in my life. Glimpses which will result in a deep longing to be more and more grateful, every day, putting me on "an upward spiral of gladness".

Doesnt that sound great.... "an upward spiral of gladness". I just loved that phrase! It spoke volumes to me, because so many times we think of problems in life as being 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. We wonder if we can ever get out of the pit that we find ourselves in.

How uplifting to know that having something as simple as a thankful heart, can turn us around completely, help us make an about face turn, and put us on an upward spiral of gladness instead! One simple change of mindset, can change life completely.

This devotion reminded me that Thanksgiving is not only a time to give thanks, but a time to remember that thankfulness leads to a grateful heart.

Thanksgiving is a time to be connected to God in a special way, by embracing the mindset that thankfulness is a life style, not a holiday. It is a great time to embrace the truth that a truly thankful heart gives us a glimpse into the goodness in our lives, from Gods perspective - through His window, instead of our own.

Just because it is the season for Thanksgiving, does not mean that problems or trials or tribulations will cease, even for a day. So every year about this time, we find ourselves faced with an opportunity to make some important choices:

- will we focus on the good instead of the bad?
- will we focus on the disappointments that have happened over the past year, or the blessings that we have received?
- will we choose sadness, or gladness?
- will we be thankful what God has done over the past year, or resentful over the things He has not done?
- will we be thankful for life, despite life?

Life is all about choices, and attitude, and thankfulness. Each of those choices will determine the emotional path that we travel on, and each choice determines the windows that we see life through.

As for me, I much prefer upward spirals, than downward spirals - so I choose to be thankful - what about you?! I am pretty sure the view from Gods window is much more beautiful than my own.

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