I Was Thinking…
I am thankful for the grateful hearts of people whose lives have crossed my life’s path. I have been privileged to know some of the most grateful people. These are the people that even when life tosses them lemons they have a knack for making the sweetest lemonade. They are the kind of people that you enjoyed being around because they ‘en-joyed’ your life (their presence brought joy into your life).
My maternal grandmother was such a person. I can’t think of a single moment when she was without gratitude…even as she struggled with and eventually died from breast cancer. She was a grateful person. I am proud to be her grandson. My Aunt Eunice and Uncle Millard lived lives of gratitude. They had more than their share of life’s physical and family challenges yet gratitude filled their home and their existence.
In every church Sharon and I have had the privilege to serve we have found ‘lemonade people’. They are the kind of followers of Christ that exude the very presence of humble gratitude. They were not exempt from life and life’s unexpected challenges but they had hearts of gratitude in situations of loss and tears. They were Holy Spirit people who allowed the power of God to frame life for them.
Some of these people were poor and some were wealthy. Some were single all their life while others were married. Some were divorced. Some had all manner of sickness and disease. Some buried their children and even some their grandchildren. I remember one who was raped and another that was imprisoned. Yet somehow in the midst of such pain they had learned to lean genuinely and maturely into the arms of God’s strength and there discovered a lifestyle of gratitude.
Someone once said “Happiness depends on ‘happenings’ but joy depends on our Lord…the joy of the Lord is our strength.” Easier said than done but I think a true and sustainable grateful heart is a heart that has learned the context of life in a larger way…seeing life in its eternal context.
This week as we celebrate an American holiday known as ‘Thanksgiving’ I hope to journey a little closer to becoming a ‘lemonade’ person that ‘en-joys’ other lives. I desire to be as the Apostle Paul who ‘learned to be content wherever and with whomever’. May our grateful hearts live long past turkey and dressing. Sharon and I are grateful for you, your family and your ministry. It is truly our joy to discover the ‘lemonade people’ in our midst.