I’m Forever Grateful
For several weeks the word “Grateful” has been running through my brain. The words to a song have also flooded my mind, so I’ve explored Grateful.
My trusty Merriam Webster dictionary defines grateful as: 1) warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful; 2) expressing gratitude; 3) pleasing to the mind or senses.
For some things the definition could be used to describe grateful…a nice meal…a comfortable chair…a note from a special friend…etc.
However, when I think of what I’m truly grateful for, the definition seems hollow. As I ponder the word ‘grateful”, it seems that the things I’m grateful for must also be “attached” to the word “grateful” in order for the depth of my gratitude to be realized.
Here are a few examples I’ve come up with:
My husband. Yes, I’m grateful for him, but it’s much more than “warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received”. We are in our 43rd year of marriage, and the relationship gets deeper and sweeter with each day. I’m grateful for his integrity, perseverance, love, kindness, acceptance, and on and on. The Webster definition cannot fully cover the range of my thoughts and emotions.
My children and grandchildren. Oh, how I am grateful to be a mother and grandmother! Thinking of my family is very pleasing to my mind. Remembering the hugs and kisses of the past is pleasing to my senses; but it is so much more. Like Mary in Luke 2:19, I’ve stored up and ponder the sweet memories that are part of the core of who I am. Simply saying “I’m grateful” cannot begin to express all that I feel.
My country. I am grateful to be an American, to be alive at this point in history, to be free to worship as I choose, and so much more. The depth of my gratitude cannot be expressed by a simple word. It is heartfelt, and again, Webster’s definition isn’t enough.
My church. I’m grateful to be in a church where the Bible is honored, where Truth is proclaimed, and where love flows. However, again, the definition of grateful doesn’t express the deep emotions that are attached to being grateful for my church home.
Lastly, I’m grateful for my Savior. But, again, Webster’s definitions cannot begin to express the depth of my gratitude. I’ve come to the realization that there are not words that can explain or express Who Jesus is. Who God the Father is. Who the Holy Spirit is. They are beyond definition. The only way to understand is through an intimate relationship.
I’ve had a precious friend for almost 20 years. She would have said, “I’m a Christian”, and has, in fact, said those words to me. However, deep down, I knew she didn’t really understand. She was a “church member”, a very active “church member”; however, she didn’t have relationship, she had head knowledge.
At some point she read the book “Heaven Is For Real”, about 5 year old Colton Burpo’s near death experience. When she read the book it all began to make sense to her. As Luke 24:45 says, “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” Last night she also watched the movie “Heaven Is For Real”. I loved her comment, “I always knew heaven was real, but now I know it is real for me.” My sweet friend now has had a relational experience with the One True and Living God! She knows that it is real for her, too!
Wow! I’m grateful that I will spend eternity with my friend; but, once again, Webster’s definition cannot begin to convey the depth of my gratitude.
Just as the Luke 24 passage says our minds are opened to understand the Scriptures, it seems that the True Meaning of some words can only be understood with the heart.
Lord, my gratitude to You cannot be expressed with mere words. It also cannot be expressed through outward actions. My gratitude to You can only be expressed by my heart, in the place that only You have access to. Thank you, Father God, for revealing yourself to my friend. Thank you for pursuing her and never letting go. I thank you in advance for all those I love who have yet to “have their minds opened to understand the Scriptures”, but will also come to know you as Savior and Lord. I’m forever grateful.