By Michelle Schroeder
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted. ~ John 6:1-15
As moms, we always want to give our children good gifts. I am not exclusively referring to material items but also the good gifts of our experience and wisdom. Far too often, these gifts to our kids aren’t received and appreciated the way we hope they will be. I feel so pleased when I can share some personal experience with them that relates precisely to a situation that they’re dealing with in their lives.
Rarely is the relevance of my experience appreciated. Even some of the material gifts we are so excited to proudly give are not always valued as we expect. I know there are many times one of my kids opened a birthday gift and responded with “cool, thanks.”
The level of gratitude certainly didn’t match the level of effort I put in searching a hundred places trying to find the exact item that had been on a wish list! Truth be told, it stings a little when they aren’t nearly as excited to receive the gift as I was to actually find the thing I’ve given!
I was stung by ingratitude recently and was thinking about it as I sat in Adoration. That’s when it hit me: How often are we ungrateful for the gifts the Lord gives us? How much more does it sting God when we respond with a “cool, thanks” to an incredible gift He’s given us?
The conviction of this thought hit me like a ton of bricks. When the Father answers our prayers to resolve a situation or fulfills a need we have, we might thank Him at first, but I know I tend to quickly forget about His good gift once a new situation arises. It’s easy to quickly flip to asking for the next thing instead of focusing on the gift we are holding.
Our Lord also freely provides us in the Bible with His wisdom and direction—which surpasses all human understanding. My little nuggets of insight that my kids readily ignore are nothing compared to what God tries to communicate to us, yet I don’t consistently appreciate how He is speaking directly to me in these words. Most importantly, God gave us His Son to redeem us and reconcile us to Him, but even that isn’t always in the forefront of my mind like it should be.
Despite feeling momentarily soured by a recipient’s ingratitude, we all know that when the next occasion comes around, we still have the same desire and put in the same effort to give good gifts to our kids. Thankfully, the Father responds to us this way, too, except, of course, infinitely better! He continues to give freely and abundantly despite how little we seem to value His gifts at times.
He forgives our ingratitude and lavishes us with His love and blessings. So, my goal is to be the daughter to God the Father that I want my children to be. I want to spend time reflecting, really cherishing all the gifts that I’ve received not just in the present moment but throughout my life.
Father, thank you for your generous gifts and continuing mercy and forgiveness. Please help me to be the loving, grateful daughter, you created me to be. May I never take your love, mercy, or generosity for granted.
Call to Action
Make a list of all the amazing gifts God has bestowed upon you and your family in the last year. Thank Him for each of them and keep the list nearby on those days you are finding blessings harder than usual to find.
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Beautiful analogy! One we can all relate to. I appreciate your thoughts. I too, will be more in tune to gratitude for God’s gifts to me!
Thank you Cheryl for taking the time to respond to Michelle, and reminding me to also be more attuned to God’s gifts for me!
I. Enjoyed the women’s conference. We need 1 at our lady of mercy parish. In Batonrouge La. Kelley and her team did a wonderful job in Batonrouge La.
We loved coming to Baton Rouge, and pray we can return again next year. Also, PLEASE know of WINE’s prayers for all of Louisiana, especially our dear sisters in Christ!! Blessings