Intentional gratitude is always near to my heart. “Thank you God for hot water… that the sun came up again today… for your provision in my life… for loving friends… for food and clean water… for Your love…” and so much more! Recently, I saw gratitude displayed in the most beautiful way. When my tuk-tuk driver dropped me off, he attempted to give me my 100 riel in change (about 2 cents US). “No… no worries,” I said. Suddenly, his face lit up, he said ‘thank you’ like 100 times, bowed his head repeatedly to show honor, and even waved as he drove off with that huge smile. It melted my heart and I smiled about it all day. All over two cents!

Recently, it has been on my heart to cultivate a heart of gratitude with the children at the Kids Justice House of Prayer. These children live in the slums of Phnom Penh and have very little, including food and possessions. However, regardless of circumstances, there is always something to be thankful for. At first, the children couldn’t think of anything, as I think it was a new concept to them. But within just a few times of meeting, they begin to express their grateful hearts: “Thank you, Jesus, for creating animals and trees. Thank you for creating me. Thank you for creating my parents. Thank you for my beautiful hair, eyes, nose, and mouth. Thank you for us being able to meet at the house of prayer. Thank you for the good music…” One by one, we would go around the circle and each child would have an opportunity to thank Jesus for something. For some, praying is still a new concept and a step out of their comfort zones. However, yesterday, while my ministry partner was praying and thanking Jesus for things, the children broke out in spontaneous prayer, all praying at the same time in prayers of thanks! It was such a beautiful sound, like heaven on earth.

Gratitude keeps us from self-pity and entitlement and lifts us above our circumstances. It is God’s will for us to be thankful. My hope is that someone would be encouraged by this today.

“And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.” – Thessalonians 5:18

Written by: Cathy Cupp
Published on: 9/5/2018