Thankful Thursday: 5/18

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Bless the Lord, my soul;
and do not forget all his gifts...
- Psalm 103

Me, Lord?
Would I forget all your gifts to me?

No way!

I mean, how could I?
You've been so generous...

But on the other hand,
I guess, maybe it's sometimes true:
I do forget.
I loose track of what you've given me,
how you've been there for me,
what you've done for me...

But see - that was back then, Lord,
and this is now...

I so easily focus on what I need from you now;
how I need you in my life at this moment;
and what I want you to do for me, today...
I have to admit, Lord,
that sometimes my memory of past blessings
doesn't even reach back to yesterday...

What you gave me last month,
how you blessed me last year
and the gifts I've received and carried for decades:
all of these can fall into a great black hole,
forgotten and eclipsed by my needs today...

I don't mean to be ungrateful, Lord,
but often that's where I end up,
forgetful of your forgiving love,
your enduring patience and endless mercy,
your abiding presence at my side
and your gifts, large and small, hand delivered to my heart:
some gifts opened and enjoyed but then discarded;
others used, abused or wasted;
and some left tied, wrapped up, unopened
when my petulant heart in self-pity
refused to receive what you offered...

Bless the Lord, my soul;
and do not forget all his gifts...

Once more then, Lord,
I ask for your forgiving love,
your patience and your mercy.
I pray you drop these gifts on my heart's doorstep
that I not miss them,
not fail to receive them gratefully;
that I might open them with joy
and find in them the peace of your presence
that comes with your hand's every gift...

Help me recognize the gifts I failed to see
when they arrived in wrappings I didn't expect;
help me find and accept any gift I ignored or rejected
because it wasn't just the one I'd prayed for;
help me be grateful for gifts whose time has passed,
gifts my angry heart refused to open and accept,
and give me joy in knowing that you were there for me
with gifts unknown, unnumbered and undeserved;
help me know, in my heart of hearts,
that you know better than I, Lord, what I really need
and what will truly bring me peace...

In your mercy, Lord, pardon and forgive me
for having forgotten, lost and wasted
so much of what you've given me
and especially those gifts you gave
for me to share with others...

Open the eyes of my heart and soul,
the doors of my mind and memory,
to find all the gifts I've received from your hand.

Teach my heart to rejoice in your generous love...

Give me the gift of a grateful heart
and grant me an attitude of gratitude...

Give me your Spirit's help to recognize your gifts
regardless of their wrapping or how they came my way;
open my heart to gifts I didn't ask or pray for,
the gifts you knew I needed, even if not the gifts I wanted...

Help me trust that you know best what I need most today
and that you will give me everything I need to be at peace
with you, with my neighbor and with myself...

Bless the Lord, my soul;
and do not forget all his gifts...


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