I’ve been pondering the difference between “grateful” and “thankful” lately.
I thought about looking them up and doing some googling about the history of the words, but let me give you two REALLY good reasons why I didn’t:
1. I’m not in the mood.
2. I wanna write this from my perspective, not what some writers of some Wikipedia pages say.
SO, without further ado, here’s what’s rolling around in my grey matter as of late:
grateful – to be filled with relief by the presence of something, someone, some act
thankful – to really ponder and cherish and appreciate the meaning of some one, some thing, some act
I think they’re super similar and can go hand and hand, but to me they’re still a bit different. I feel more grateful in the moment. A friend rescued me in an impossible situation recently, and I was so grateful she was there. But I am also so very thankful for her, how she’s different from me, and how God made her a part of my life, all the time.
Maybe they’re one in the same to you, and that’s fine, maybe I get so giddy when my kids take a nap that the silence is like a drug to my overstimulated ears and I over analyze everything.
But what really made me think of the distinction was some struggling I’ve had lately. We’ve had some great teachable moments around here where we can, in the moment, say, “thank you for THAT, God!” And we’re so grateful for that momentary fix. And we say our prayers many times a day and thank God. Both of those actions were in my mind and then I had some amazing revelations and epiphanies from God recently and noticed I felt like, despite that, He was silent among my every day woes. And then I was thanking Him in prayer one day and I REALLY put my heart into it. I really immersed my thoughts and heart into every thing I mentioned. And it wss so different… I knew my thankful heart helped prepare the way for Him. I knew He was nearer. I’ve been trying to do this more and more and the more I do, the better it all is.
So, not sure if I’m making a lot of sense, but more than in my times of desperation, more than just the moments of rescue or routine, I wanna push the thankfulness. It’s only listed, like, 89,000 times in the Bible (no, I didn’t count). Does it take away all the facts of my woes? Hardly (unless God decides to move that instant, and usually, he doesn’t). Does it change my attitude and heart towards those woes? ABSOLUTELY. Have I noticed the plethora of small gifts He’s been sending me every day that I missed before? You bet!!
Anyway, I dare you to try it. Count your blessings, yeah, but don’t just list em, really dwell on em. Find every beautiful aspect of them. It sounds trite and cliche to some, but it WORKS.
“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” ~ Harry Ironside
I’d to hear your thoughts on this and any epiphanies/discoveries too!