Grumpy Gratitude

Bible Reading: Colossians 1:9-14
Author: Patricia Simmons (Missouri, USA)
Thursday 20 January 2022 © The Upper Room.

Through the years I’ve learned that making gratitude lists helps me stay more positive.

I use the alphabet, thanking God for something that begins with each letter.

Sometimes I thank God for people from the Bible—Abraham, Benjamin, Caleb. Sometimes I use scripture verses alphabetically, such as: ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’; ‘Be still, and know that I am God’; ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God.’

Recently a friend told me that she makes a ‘grumpy gratitude’ list in the spirit of 1 Thessalonians 5:18, ‘Give thanks in all circumstances.’ My friend looks for reasons to be thankful in every situation.

Not long ago I had a door-slamming day. After slamming three or four doors, I remembered my friend’s practice and paused to begin a grumpy gratitude list.

I thought, ‘OK, God, I’m grateful that slammed doors ease frustrations. I’m grateful for doors that keep heat in during the winter and open to let cool breezes in during summer.’ My list continued, turning my door-slamming day into a blessing.

The grumpy gratitude list helped me recognise how much I had to be thankful for that I had not noticed just moments before.

Even when it appears there is nothing to be grateful for, we can find something for which to thank God.

Prayer: Whether I am glad or grumpy, God, help me always to be aware of that for which I can be grateful. Amen

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