When Gratitude Unlocks Abundance
Posted December 7, 2021 by Theresa Miller
Categories: Featured, Sister Post, Theresa
I rummage through the Christmas bins in the storage room and pull out the “my gift to Jesus,” gift-wrapped box. My mind wanders toward the little six-year-old girl writing what she is grateful for onto a slip of paper, then slipping it into the slit at the top of the box. I recall her heart swelling a bit as she reads her gift to Jesus from the previous year, and how gratitude unlocks the most abundant gifts, no matter the circumstance.
Christmas is Not a Given
I recall how a few years later the sacred tradition is lost to good intentions and a home void of singing carols, sweet and savory scents, and welcoming sights. A 10-year-old’s eyes scope the 3-foot tree propped on a table bare of decor or wrapped gifts this Christmas Eve, and the usual clamor of children’s anticipation settles into feelings of desolation. The expected joyful abundance of Christmas seems indulgent for a broken and emotionally bankrupt family. Six squirmy sisters fall silent as they fathom the reality that Christmas is not a given.
As they wander the house, acquainted with the thief of joy too soon, they wonder how to bring Christmas alive again. Their longing and hope-infused hearts make way for considering all they do have, as they scramble to their bedrooms and wrap their favorite treasures in tattered shirts and nightgowns—items thoughtfully sought out, one sister for another. As they race back to the tree, squeals of anticipation fill the air and life re-enters their bones. Smiles stretch across their sullen faces and joy flows into all corners of their grief.
A thief came to steal that night until those young girls stumbled upon the secret that joy can always be found. We discover joy when we recognize all we have as gift. John 10:10 tells us that there is a thief who will seek to steal our joy and destroy our hope by way of our difficult circumstances. Yet Jesus assures us that He has come so we may have abundant life, more than we expect, to the point of overflowing.
“A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!”John 10:10 TPT
A Gift Freely Given
Gratitude is the posture for receiving this kind of gift with open hands and hearts. It doesn’t have anything to do with how much we have or how good we have it. It’s living with abundance because we recognize what we do have rather than what we lack—the life that enters this world as much as a loved one’s departure, the joys as much as the hardships, our successes as much as our failures—because God is with us through it all.
Those sisters learned a vital lesson that barren Christmas. Jesus can be found in the tattered cloth of our brokenness. Even as the thief attempts to steal our joy and offers us despair, gratitude unlocks the abundance Jesus offers each one of us no matter our circumstance. When we honor the Giver by acknowledging His gifts, we are credited abundance—the immeasurable overflow of love, joy, and peace.
Friend, the reality is Christmas is not a given simply because we have presents under the tree. Christmas is the Gift freely given to those who receive with open hands and thankful hearts. What have you been given that you can offer someone in need? How can you give thanks in your circumstances right now? I invite you to reflect on the gifts you have given and received in spaces of scarcity that have brought you a surplus of joy and peace. Let’s encourage one another by naming them in the comments below.