Finding Spiritual Lessons in Everyday Things: Practicing Gratitude In Your Home
Growing up, my family had a favorite dramatized audiobook that we listened to repeatedly: Pilgrim’s Progress, a classic by John Bunyan. I remember hearing the story so many times that large portions of it are still ingrained in my memory. And although many people are familiar with the first part of the story, which follows the journey of a believer named Christian, fewer are aware of the sequel, which follows the journey of his wife Christiana and their children.
There is a particular scene in the sequel that stands out to me as an adult. Christiana’s family and friends are staying at the Palace Beautiful, and her sons are speaking with Prudence about spiritual matters. Prudence uses everyday things that can be found in and around the Palace – such as the fire in the hearth, the wick of a candle, and the crowing of a rooster – to illustrate spiritual lessons and pictures. Finding these spiritual lessons in everyday things then provides a way to practice gratitude in your home. Keep reading to learn more.
Prudence’s approach is something we can all learn from. We can take the common and seemingly mundane things that we are accustomed to seeing every day in our own homes, and turn them into a spiritual reminder of even better spiritual blessings to give thanks for. While we may be quick to thank God for the obvious blessings – such as a place to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear – we should also be thankful for the greater blessings that will outlast the temporal ones.
For example, when we feel the warmth of a fireplace on a cold winter’s evening, it’s good to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the heat that keeps us from freezing. But might we not also breathe a few words of thanks for the love of Jesus, which has melted the ice of our cold dead hearts and made us warm and alive – burning with love for Him in return?
Similarly, when we sit down to enjoy supper around the table with our loved ones beside us, it would be a wonderful thing to use the food as a reminder to not only give thanks for the tasty dishes that satisfy our hunger, but also for the Bread of Life that our Savior gives us for the nourishment of our souls.
Give Thanks to the Lord
When we see our children’s smiling faces or hear their pleasant voices, we do well to give thanks to the Lord for filling our home with their gladdening presence. However, let’s not stop there. In our children’s faces, let us also be reminded of how the Lord Jesus has reconciled us to our Heavenly Father, brought us into His family, and bestowed upon us the blessedness of being His own sons and daughters. Is that not an even bigger reason for thanksgiving and gratitude?
As Christians, we can find numerous other examples of everyday things in our homes that serve as illustrations of far greater blessings for which we can thank the Lord. For instance, the water we drink, the bed we sleep in, the books we read, the music we listen to, and the art we admire are all blessings that we can appreciate and use as reminders of God’s goodness and grace in our lives.
If you need help identifying more examples of everyday things to be grateful for, I’ve created a Gratitude Journal with plenty of prompts to get you started. You can download it for free here and start seeing the ordinary things in your life with new eyes.
The next time you feel the warmth of the sun on your face, hear the birds chirping in the trees, or smell the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, take a moment to thank God for the blessings that are often taken for granted. By doing so, we can cultivate an attitude of gratitude and acknowledge that everything we have is a gift from our Heavenly Father.