When was the last time you thanked God for a gift?
As Jesus always gave thanks to his Father, so we should never fail to do the same. “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the son is except the Father, and who is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” (Lk 10: 21 - 22). Giving praise is exactly giving thanks and here is the best example.
Gifts are usually given to someone on occasion of a special remembrance such as a milestone reached in their life. It almost always occurs on a birthday or anniversary. Major holidays i.e. Christmas is common, but personal events are so much warmer with a bit of love attached. Beyond the special adherence we show to our loved ones is the deeper connection that can reach into the heart of the receiver that may last a lifetime. Those moments of particular memories may change a person's attitude towards life's disappointments.
Watch the eyes of someone opening a gift when they realize the giver has a deep concern for them. It says, in spite of past faults between us I still love you. This first step of regaining a person’s trust goes far beyond a simple word or gesture that passes on and is forgotten. It is not the monetary value of the gift as much as the deepest extension of care coming from the heart.
We should take an inventory of how often the challenges of our everyday disappointments have caused grief that we cannot shake off. After dealing with obstacles that cause depression with no apparent relief we finally call on God. In reality, that is what we should have done at the onset of the problem. However, the Lord is there at the first blow of discontent and is waiting to hear our cry for help.
At the moment God responds, in his time and manner, to our need, we should be on our knees in retrospect of his generosity, given out of love, as in a gift given during our lowest sense of fear.
How easy it becomes to overlook the concern God shows us, at times, when we really don’t remember the situation he saves us from. God understands our weakness even in situations where our deepest fears seem to take first place during problems.
Thanking God immediately upon the release from our difficulty eludes us, but when the clouds of unprecedented dangers have passed, in the quietness of the still emptiness of distractions, our total adherence should place God before us and allow his gentleness into our heart as a way of being thankful. We don’t need to beat a drum or blow a trumpet, just be one with God; that will be enough.
Ralph B. Hathaway