gratitude in the heart

by Mary Stout

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” (Colossians 3:16, NIV)

The Christmas season is upon us. With all the hustle and bustle of gift shopping, Christmas parties, baking Christmas goodies, caroling and whatever else we can squeeze in, we run the risk of exhaustion and irritability, and even depression.

After all, we are doing a lot of worship and singing with our church family. Our hearts are filled with joy and gratitude for those fellowship times. As a Christian, I often wonder why this can happen in the midst of celebrating the Christ child’s birth. The Bible tells us how this can happen.

What happened was this: “People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives.” (Romans 1:21, MSG)

Now you ask in the middle of this precious season, how can we forget God? Do you have a long list of to dos? Are you stressed out because the toy the little one wants is hard to find? Are you baking for all 270 neighbors and the postman? It’s so easy to think we are in charge, isn’t it? The reason for the season gets a bit cloudy when I rely on myself. We overdo, we don’t sleep well, and we don’t take care of ourselves. We forget to honor God in the midst of our self made storm.

The solution to this is to place the gratitude in our hearts where it belongs…as a gift to God for His sending His son. As the holiday gets closer, remember to breathe, try not to overdo and thank the Lord for the blessing of Jesus.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for sending your Son so that I may be in right relationship with you. Forgive me when I forget and take my eyes off Jesus. Help me slow down and be grateful throughout the holiday. Show me the way I need to shine your light and share Jesus with all. In Jesus name, Amen