One of my mom’s favorite stories of growing up in a Jewish family in London, England, during the World War II Blitz is two-fold. First, she and the other kids played in the rubble that remained after the bombs were dropped. Second, the soldiers periodically gave their chocolate rations to the children to enjoy. It’s hard to believe the children found joy in the rubble of war and from popping tiny pieces of chocolate into their mouths, but they did. They were grateful.
My mom raised me to be grateful, constantly pointing out to me that I had absolutely no idea how fortunate I was compared with so many others in the world. She grew up in a war. I grew up in luxury. She tried to teach me to be grateful. I failed miserably. By the time I was a young adult, I was spoiled and had a strong sense of being entitled to whatever I wanted or felt I needed. My dad told me there was a difference between wanting and needing something, but to me it was all the same.
At long last, now that Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life, I have the gratitude I should have had all along. Though I can still find myself resorting to complaining at times and taking for granted my blessings, for the most part I have a heart full of thanksgiving. It did not take my mom’s stories and prodding nor my dad’s lessons to teach me to be grateful. It took my love for the Lord. He is my greatest teacher, and He has taught me how truly blessed I am.
I came from a Jewish family that did not believe in God. And as hard as my parents tried to teach me to be grateful, I did not find true gratitude until I found the Lord and became a fully committed, fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. Now I am not merely grateful for all my blessings. I am grateful to the one from whom all my blessings come. The Lord.