One of the many virtues my mother taught me as a child, was to be grateful for everything we would receive from my parents. I remember clearly that when I would receive a gift or even something small during shopping, I would kiss and hug her in gratitude. As a mother, I have taught my children that they too should be grateful for the things they receive from us, but most of all that they be grateful and say thank you to God, for He is the one who blesses, provides and gives in abundance.
When living in Holland I remember being very grateful as well for everything that I received from God. I would always thank God for everything that I had. I thanked Him for my lovely husband, for my beautiful children, my beautiful home, my work, my friends, my family and for the time I spend with him every Friday. But lately I was losing this gratefulness. I became dissatisfied and self focused. This was due to the fact that I felt out of place here in Australia. Almost 1 year in this new country and we still have no friends. We go to church every week but we feel anonymous every time we are there. We invited some people to our home and were hospitable but nobody returned the favor.
I applied for a few jobs but I never received a message that they even got my application. So frustration crept in.
It is at this time, when we are feeling sad and vulnerable that the enemy will creep in and try to mislead and confuse us, whispering lies and distorting the truth. For me it was: God has made a mistake sending you to Australia and you are useless. I fell for his deceit and believed him, I took the bait and started to complain to God: Why did you send us here? I want to go home (to Holland), I miss my friends and family. I started feeling very sorry for myself. Then on top of all that Michael lost his job so for me this was like another reason to complain even more: Why are we here? I do not understand why I had to give up everything for this. I felt very frustrated and discouraged.
It was a few weeks ago that we realized we had been self-interpreting Gods plan for our lives instead of letting God lead. It was clear we had to realign our heart and ourselves with God. We had been so caught up chasing our own dreams; house, jobs and more that we forgot to invite God into all of this. The first thing God said was: Don’t focus on the future, focus on Me and enjoy today. This was really helpful but still we kept struggling, so the next week we asked again and this time God said: be patient, I want to mold you and again the words: enjoy today.
What has been very helpful was the podcast series from Ransomed Heart with regard to new frontiers. I encourage you to listen to it. Link
I started to thank God for Him bringing us to Australia thanking Him for the house we live in, for our health, food, friends, family, great weather and everything we have and ever received from Him. And with that the gratefulness and satisfaction has returned, and I again I feel so much love for God and Jesus once again. I very much felt like myself again.
Remember the passage from Ecclesiastes 3: 12; That each of them (you) may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil – this is the gift of God.
So I encourage you to thank God for everything you receive from Him on a regularly base because from that also flows a lot of love for the GIVER.