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Acquiring Gratitude

I’ve been told all my Christian life that thankfulness or gratitude is important to God. My psychology education affirmed what the Bible said, that practicing thanksgiving led to more mentally and emotionally healthy people. But it has been hard for me—harder than it seems to be for other people. I’ve asked God for years to help me be more present in every moment of my life and be thankful for the blessings in them. I’ve tried making gratitude lists, and thanking God for any big and small thing I’ve noticed, but it has not born much fruit. Fifteen years of trying to have a breakthrough with very little fruit will leave a person discouraged.

The Brokest Rich Person: Me

Well, it turns out God has heard my prayers, but God works in mysterious ways. Here’s the path that I believe God’s been taking me down for the past few years to help me acquire gratitude.

  • When my husband and I married, God had us get rid of half of our stuff: whatever was physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually unclean for us was to be thrown away or donated (not sold, so that we don’t keep the money from it, which would also remain unclean)
  • Within two years of marriage, we had gotten rid of the rest.
  • In our third year, God has us replace all of our furniture and household goods, clothing, and food with high-quality upgrades: goods from sustainable manufacturers, name-brands, organic sources, and non-toxic materials filled our house where there used to be second-hand Goodwill purchases, cheap Walmart goods, or expensive gifts from family members heavy-laden with emotional baggage.
  • When we arrived to Colorado, we were dressed in Merino Wool, living in a new R-Pod, towing it with a Tesla, and cooking organic meals in our VitaClay crockpot.
  • Then, God made us broke. (I’ve tried to say before that God made us poor but God has said to me, “How many poor people do you know who drive a Tesla and live in a new R-Pod? You’re not poor. You’re just broke.” Touché.)

That’s why, as I was recently reflecting on the irony of it all, I told a friend that I was the brokest rich person I know. We laughed, it was better than crying, and made some jokes about me working for her so she could give me money. Someone at the cafe at which I was teleworking overheard me and paid for my obligatory drink purchase! It was a reminder from God that although we are broke, this is a divine season and it is designed for a purpose.

“That’s why, as I was recently reflecting on the irony of it all, I told a friend that I was the brokest rich person I know.”

God Speaks! (Finally)

So I prayed about it. Again. (I’ve been praying about this for the past three months with not many answers.) This time, God spoke! “Why are we so broke, Father?” I asked. “You won’t let us downgrade our stuff, and when I do the calculations, we are supposed to earn plenty of money to live comfortably, but the money is just not flowing to us! What’s the deal???” “I’m doing this so that you can learn that everything is a gift,” said Father God. “Do you mean you are teaching me gratitude?” I asked, and, “Am I not thankful enough?” “No, you tend to get upset when things are not ‘the way they’re supposed to be’. This is a curse you inherited from your family, and it’s time to break it,” said God.

So, I broke it by praying:

“I break agreement with the spirit of entitlement, of thanklessness, of criticism in Yeshua’s name. I bind every evil spirit that has prevented me from recognizing that everything is a gift. I break your hold on me and I send you to the cross, out of me and into the body of Yeshua on the cross. Get out!” And I repeated it with gusto until I felt a lifting off of a heaviness from my body and a leaving of uncleanness from my mind.

Easier To Be Thankful

“Ah, much better!” said Father God, then, “Now, look around you.” I was in a hotel with a kitchenette, a full bath, a king size bed, a desk, and a lounging chair with TV. “I thank you for hot water that pipes into my room,” I said. (I don’t have that in my RV.) “I thank you for a big bed and a silent room in which I can sleep. I thank you for a kitchen so that I don’t have to eat out every meal of my trip and make my body sick. I thank you for my family in our little camper, who I miss very much!” I could’ve gone on and on. All of a sudden, it felt easy to list off all of the gifts for which I was thankful!

I called my husband and told him about it. “Our lack of money sure seems to be affecting you more than it is affecting me,” he said. “Well, I’ve NEVER been so broke,” I replied. “Ever since I got my first job at fourteen years old, I’ve paid off every bill on time, and always had money leftover to do something fun. I couldn’t do everything I wanted all at the same time, but I could certainly do something I wanted every week. Not so now—when my choices are ‘do something fun’ or ‘buy groceries’, there really isn’t any choice at all,” I explained. “Well, I’m glad you are getting set free of something that you’ve wanted freedom from for years,” he replied. Me, too!

And for that—I am thankful.

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