I woke thinking about a story I read yesterday–the one about the ten lepers who were cleansed on their way to show themselves to the priest. Only one came back to thank Jesus (and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet besides!), at which Jesus responded–‘where are the nine? Was no one found but this foreigner who returned to give glory to God?’ and the man was commended for his faith and told that his faith had made him well–literally had ‘saved’ him!
It seems to me there is a significant relationship between gratitude and faith. One gives evidence that the other is there. And from my experience, even a speck of gratitude has the potential to increase my faith. For example…when I begin to feel stressed or anxious about something, if I will straightway begin to thank God for the situation and His knowledge of it, and His ability to direct my steps with regard to it… I can sense my faith begin to grow right then and there from that little seed of gratitude. For me, breathing out ‘thank-you Lord’ audibly (quietly) and continuing to thank Him makes me begin to focus on His ability for the situation rather than my confusion or distress. And then I begin to trust Him to direct me, to provide solutions. And He begins to make a way where moments before there seemed to be no way. I guess that’s part of the reason we are instructed to present to Him our requests with thanksgiving whenever we are tempted to be anxious. It works. It changes my attitude from doubt to faith. Try it. It works. Just say, ‘thank-you’.
An old plastic pot had fallen down unnoticed beside the back steps to join the other debris–bark from the procession of logs being unloaded into the house all winter, stray rubbish on its way to the garbage bin, and sundry articles fallen from the doorside catch-all table. Clean-up time came with spring weather and I had picked up this little pot to toss it but behold! a perfect little plant-kin was happily growing there. This was no weed. Its sturdy dark green leaves looked like…something. I just didn’t know what, and where did it come from anyway? Could it actually have sprung from seed I planted last spring?!
You see, when spring comes I cannot resist the urge to dig out seeds and dream of what they could grow to become. The tough part is burying them in dirt! How on earth will these pepper-like bits become brilliant flowers?! Last year I had a particularly daunting array of perennial seeds I had brought home from a seed exchange…With significant stores of doubt I finally got them arranged in makeshift boxes of potting soil by the sliding glass door, all painstakingly labeled on a piece of graph paper so I would not lose track of what was what…
Unfortunately the germination period for some of these babies is weeks long! How long can a person hold out in faith and persevere in keeping seeds moist and warm and sunlit and… well, happy! before doubt takes over and assumes the seed was infertile anyway! Evidently I gave up too soon on these seeds but my Master Gardener didn’t….
And now this pretty new plant is tucked in my rusty wheelbarrow planter beside the steps alongside the sunny-faced pansies that showed up here this spring and the store-bought ‘basket-stuffers’. It is slowly but surely showing what it was created to become… What will it be?
Just goes to show that you never know what will become of the seeds you’ve planted. It may seem all your effort’s been wasted–doubts may creep in– you may feel like a failure… but hang on. You just never know what will come of it. May “He who supplies seed to the sower…supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness!” He is faithful to complete the good work begun.
God Bless! and be sure to check back and see what it will be!
Psst… See the results here: A Lily of Course– July 3,2009