Today, meet my sister, Kate. Most people don’t have the opportunity to choose their family, but my family did. We had the honor of choosing Kate. Kate came into my life when she was two days old and the tiniest baby I had ever seen! My dad refers to her as, “Our Venezuelan Beauty,” and she is, but to me, she is so much more. She is another sister I never thought I’d have, as I was 15 when she was born, but she is a girl that I’ve watched closely become a woman who is passionate to have God use her…and He is using her. I’m proud of her, and I’m honored to have you meet her today in her 1-minute post on Gratitude…
In my life I have been blessed far more than I deserve. I have a loving husband, and an adorably sweet baby boy. I am healthy with all of my physical needs provided for. I have an education and live in a free country. Before I was born the Lord knew I would be an orphan, and when I could not beg anyone to take me in He laid it on the hearts of a special family to accept me and love me as their own.
Yes, I’ve lived a blessed life.
I guess that is why whenever I think about the word gratitude it is so closely tied to the word grace—free and unmerited favor of God. In our society we seem to think that we are deserving of everything that life has to offer. We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, right? The American dream, follow your heart, find your rainbow and all that. Well, not exactly. As my husband would say, ”What we deserve is Hell.” Still, when life doesn’t go the way we feel that it should we cry, “That’s not fair!” or, “Why is this happening to me?”
There is one lady in the Bible that I think understood the meaning of grace. In Matthew 15 we read about a Canaanite mother begging Jesus to heal her daughter of demon possession. Her persistence annoyed Jesus’ disciples and they asked Him to send her away, and He replied, “I was sent to the Israelites. It is not right for me to take bread from children and feed it to dogs.” In humility kneeling before Him she cried, “Help me Lord! Even dogs eat crumbs from the Master’s table!” I can almost hear the kindness in His voice as He said, “You have great faith, woman. Your request is granted.” The Canaanite woman knew the meaning of grace. While the Jews felt entitled to all the blessings of the long awaited Messiah King, she understood that she was undeserving of such rescue. But she had a love for her daughter, hope that she could be healed, faith in the Christ which led to grace from Him, and in the end…gratitude.
“Thank you Jesus for these crumbs!” She must have thought as she held her child that night.
Praise God that we as gentiles are recipients of salvation not because of our bloodline, but because of grace alone through faith.
So you see we like she–dying in our sin and lost in depravity–deserve nothing. Yet as one song puts it,
You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger Your name is great and Your heart is kind For all Your goodness I will keep on singing 10,000 reasons for my heart to find
This Thanksgiving as I make my list of everything I’m thankful for, I want to remember that everything on my list is due to the grace and goodness of God. On the days that follow that seem bleak and my list seems short, I hope I can pray, “Thank you God for the crumbs.”