There are some in whom life abounds. They possess an uncanny ability to see grace in all the places where others pass by unaware.
They are the ones who see life as a banquet table filled with good things.
They know what it means to laugh at simple pleasures, to see uncommon beauty in the most ordinary of things, and their ability to notice grace at work in the world moves them toward fullness of life.
They understand, however, that they do not come alive simply because they have noticed these things, as if somehow paying attention to the grace which fills this world is enough. They get that something more is called for. They somehow know that to be fully alive they must offer their thanks.
They get what theologian Karl Barth meant by these words:
“Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth. Grace evokes gratitude like the voice of an echo. Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightning.”
Yes, the hearts of these fully-alive ones search every inch of God’s world as they watch for the lightning of God’s grace. And when they see it, as they always seem to do, they offer back their thunder of thanksgiving.
And their thunder fills this world with the constant reminder that abundant life is found only in those who walk with expectation of grace, and who, when discovering it, respond with grateful praise.