podcast link below:
Jeremiah 30:19. Thanksgiving will come out of them, a sound of rejoicing. I will multiply them, and they will not decrease; I will honor them, and they will not be insignificant.
When abundance abounds in our lives, we are thankful for the all is well. And there in the fullness, thanksgiving seems to easily come out of [us]. Similarly, a sound of rejoicing readily comes to our lips as a spill-over from our hearts full of joy, hope, and faith. Gratitude is a normal and natural fruit borne there in our almost-Eden lives.
But when our lives more closely resemble the grief, pain, and loss of a now-lost Eden, our cornucopias of praise might be empty or abandoned in a desperate search for relief, restoration, or renewal. And the seeds of gratitude from a long-past harvest of joy lie dry and brittle in the soil of a dusty soul.
To an unpracticed eye, these seeds of gratitude can seem beyond the ability to germinate, much less to thrive. Yet to the gardener’s eye, these seeds are now ready to be planted, prayed over, and watched in expectation. For the winter of grief, pain, and loss has prepared the seeds to receive the rains of mercy and in turn, to bloom in a new variety of grace not seen before.
A bloom of grace full and rich in new colors of appreciation and awe of the blessings received long-ago. A bloom of grace ripe and fragrant in thankfulness and trust of the blessings poured out in the now and the not-yet. Moreover, these grace-blooms are distinctive in their ability to thrive in our now-lost Eden lives and to reclaim the soil of our souls as fertile for a new planting of joy and faith.
And this new planting will bear a harvest of hope far beyond imagination or expectation and produce another generation of gratitude-seeds and grace-blooms. Yet these blooms and their seeds are not just to nourish us for the now of an Eden-lost and the not-yet of the garden to come in Revelation. But these gratitude-seeds are also to help the many in our lives who are walking to and fro in their deserts of grief, pain, and loss searching for hope…
For only Jesus, our hope of glory, is the One Who can change grief to gratitude, pain to promise, and loss to love. He is the One for Whom we are thankful and in Whom we rejoice. He is the One Who cares for us and the soil of our souls. He is the One Who plants the gratitude-seeds and nourishes us with their grace-blooms in a harvest far beyond our biggest hopes or dreams.
Isaiah 51:3 For the Lord comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song
Dear Father God,
Thank You that You gave us the ultimate hope in the death, burial, and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You that You keep giving us grace and mercy in our time of need in the amount we could never buy or earn. Thank You that You keep planting, cultivating, and nourishing grace in our lives for today and times to come. Please help me to be thankful in all things as You command in Scripture. Please help me to see beyond myself into others’ lives and to be willing to lay down my plans so that Jesus, our Hope of glory, might be made known to so many more people each and every day.
In the strong Name of Jesus,
Written by and copyrighted to Beth Madison, Ph.D., 2021.