Sometimes we confuse gratitude with giving thanks. Giving thanks for something is great. We should all do more of it. Gratitude, however, comes from a deeper place within. It comes from knowing that our life stories could well have turned out very differently if not for the Lord's grace.
Gratitude on this level requires a spiritual maturity as we work to acknowledge that we are not in charge. The Lord is. Always. When we think we are in charge--of anything--we are beyond arrogant. I imagine the Lord shaking His head at our naivete and pride. Only when we attribute any blessing as coming from Him do we approach the gratitude He asks of us.
I struggle with this concept. I struggle with admitting my own powerlessness to effect change in my life. I struggle to find the humility to thank the Lord in any meaningful way for His continued blessings.
This I know for sure: gratitude is knowing that, without the Lord, we are nothing. And it is required of all of us.