Thankful, Grateful, Blessed.

If you are like me, you might use these terms interchangeably, but they are actually very different from one another.

To be thankful is to be pleased or relieved about something.  For example, I’m thankful no one got hurt in the car accident I saw this morning.

To be grateful is an expression of appreciation towards others.  I’m grateful for the emergency responders and how quickly they arrived.

To be blessed is to have favor from God. Or perhaps it’s God’s mercy in your life. But that can seem a bit tricky. Why are some “blessed” more than others?  How does God decide who to bless?  I think we have to look beyond the “blessing” and understand that all things work for good.  So often God is working in ways we cannot see or understand. What we might initially see as not getting the “blessing” may later turn into realizing we got an even bigger blessing.  I’m sure you can think of an example like this in your own life.

I have shared with you how we waited almost 17 years to adopt.  What a blessing that we waited.  It didn’t feel like a blessing at the time, but God knew what we needed.  God already had plans for our daughter.  Had we forged ahead with our plans, we would not have our sweet Carson Jane. You could argue that we could have another daughter and we would be none the wiser, and I guess that’s true, but I’m so thankful we didn’t do that.  I’m grateful to God that He gave me peace when I didn’t understand His plan.

I have so much to be thankful for…my health, my family, my birthright as an American.

I have so much I am grateful for…my friends, my job, all of you.

I have so many blessings, too many to count.  I pray we all recognize just how blessed we are and take time this week to give thanks to our Creator.  And if you find yourself in a waiting pattern, wondering what God has in store or maybe why He hasn’t answered your prayers, trust Him, He loves you. He knows your every need, and if you pay attention, you will see that He is in the details.

What are you thankful for?  What are you grateful for?  How have you been blessed?  Maybe you’re still waiting. If you feel like sharing, I’d love to pray for you.

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