My Skirt with the Fluffy Petticoat

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GLADitude and GRATitude are not the same. GLADitude is all about us; GRATitude is all about Him.

Have you ever worked really hard to save your money, and then purchased your child a gift which they gladly received but never expressed their heartfelt appreciation?

I remember as a fifth grader, my mother buying me a back-to-school dress in Lubbock, Texas. For weeks before the arrival, I fantasized about our shopping spree to Marcus (the name of the privately owned shop). This particular year, Mother bought me the outfit with the petticoat under the skirt. I was going to be the “hit” of Stephen F. Austin Elementary.

While driving back to my hometown after a week of being at my relatives, I reached into the sack in the backseat of the car to lay eyes on my skirt that was sure to make all my dreams come true, but it wasn’t there. Mother had returned it to the store. Not once all week had I thanked her for my new clothes. Mother was a teacher. I’m sure she worked hard to cloth me in my Cinderella dreams.

It reminds me of the story in Luke 17 where Jesus healed ten lepers and told them to go and show themselves to the priest. The Bible reports, “However, only one of them when he saw he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, falling on his face at Jesus feet, giving thanks to Him.”

In the story I often identify with the ten over the one. After all, it’s easy to have an attitude of GLADitute when things go our way: God, my child’s A+ in Algebra makes me happy. God, my financial raise made my day. Or, God, my birthday gift card to Walmart thrills my soul.

Who doesn’t have a glad heart when God allows us to enjoy the good stuff? However, concerning the lepers, it was “the one” that received the spotlight in God’s Word setting himself apart from his friends that gave us this poignant lesson: GLADitude and GRATitude are not the same. GLADitude is all about me. GRATitude is all about Him. I’ve often wondered about “the one.” What was this cleansed leper thinking while running back to Jesus? Lord, I can’t wait to live under the roof with my family! Lord, what did I do to deserve this favor? Lord, how can I ever repay you?

What would it look like if we made the decision to “turn back” and purposely run toward Jesus, contemplating all the ways He’s blessed us, big and small? What if we recorded three acts of His kindness each day? What if we kept a list and fell at His feet with a loud shout each morning?

I’m certain I would have looked simply adorable if I had ever worn my skirt with the petticoat. But what mother was forming in my elementary heart would look far lovelier on me in the years to come.

What happens when we live beyond momentary GLADitude and practice divine GRATitude? It accomplishes our Father’s ultimate purpose – the release of His glory…and friend, is there anything more stunning to wear than that?

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