“Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praises on the harp to our God, who covers the heavens with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens that cry. He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.” Psalm 147:7-11
This morning as I woke a bit before my alarm and had a wonderful prayer time, knowing the morning schedule would be a bit more relieved due to the rain last night and my not needing to water the gardens, I left the house to start my morning milking with a happy heart that everything was going so well for my schedule. But that happiness was not to last for long. When I turned on the pump for my milking machine and it failed to do what it usually does and hand-milking was the only option before me.
Up until now I had been wholeheartedly thankful for the 3+ gallons of milk I was getting from my cow at each milking and I did thank God for the gift of the milk, the health of my cow, and the ability to provide milk, butter, and cheese for my family from that surplus of milk. But this morning my as I milked as much as I could with my hands, instead of my machine, the Lord spoke to my heart in about the difference between thankfulness and gratefulness. (He had a long time since it took almost 45 minutes to get all the milk I could out of my cow by hand.)
Look at the difference in the definitions I found, once I finally got in from the barn:
Thankfulness – is a state of being pleased and relieved
Gratefulness – is the showing of appreciation
To be able to give God glory in all circumstances we need to have grateful hearts instead of thankful hearts. Not every circumstance we encounter as a Christian will please us or relieve us of our burdens. But because everything that comes into our lives are gifts from our Lord Jesus who loves us and knows what is best for us, we still need to be appreciative of whatever they are, wherever they take us, and how much work they require from us.
I am praying that tonight my pump will be fixed, but if not I am glad that God loved me enough to teach me the difference between having a thankful heart and a grateful one. May your day be filled with gratefulness onto our Lord too no matter what it may hold.