It’s springtime! The grass is green, and flowers are blooming! It’s the most eagerly anticipated season for those with a green thumb. They’ve waited all winter to plant little seedlings and can now enjoy the glorious rewards of their labor. We all know that a beautiful garden doesn’t happen automatically—it takes time and effort. A gardener intentionally plants, tends, and waters a garden, and most importantly, gets rid of the weeds!
Our minds are the gardens of our lives. In fact, what we choose to think about determines the depth of our relationship with God.
In Andrew’s teaching Discover the Keys to Staying Full of God, we learn that one of the four keys to keeping our relationship with God as vibrant and beautiful as a garden in bloom is thankfulness. Reminding ourselves of God’s goodness is what leads to thankfulness.
Philippians 4:8 says,
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Clearly, God wants us to be mindful of the good. Andrew puts it this way: “You’ve had God do things in the past, that if you were to just really glorify that, put the proper value on it, and be thankful and go back and on a daily basis just to thank God for the good things that he’s done in your life, it would be like an anchor that would hold you and keep you from drifting.”
The more we think on the good things God has done for us, the more thankful we are. We need to remind ourselves of the times that God brought us through impossible situations. Just like the children of Israel set up memorial stones whenever something significant happened in their nation, we, too, should set up “memorial stones” that would serve as reminders of how good God has been to us.
Thankfulness involves memory, humility, and reflection. . . . To be thankful, one has to remember. Psalms 103:2 says to “forget not all his benefits.” The reason we were commanded not to forget is because it is our tendency to forget. We will forget if we don’t make an effort to remember. Thankfulness helps us remember.
Excerpt from Andrew’s Living Commentary notes on Rom. 1:21
To keep weeds from destroying a beautiful garden, we must make a conscious effort to pull them out. And it’s always better to do so sooner than later. Just like a good gardener takes time to weed his garden, it is important to diligently uproot the negative thoughts, emotions, and memories that try to stifle our growth in the Lord and our attitude of gratitude.
God created us for fellowship, and He desires a close relationship with us. Lamentations 3:22–23 (English Standard Version) says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Cultivating good memories and, therefore, being thankful helps keep what God has done in our lives fresh and impactful. It draws us closer to Him.
Get Andrew’s Discover the Keys to Staying Full of God to learn all four keys to cultivating a flourishing relationship with your heavenly Father. To order, go to store.awmi.net or call our Helpline at 719-635-1111.