Red and white tulips on the Cathedral grounds

Deuteronomy 8:11-20

Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid wasteland with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. Do not say to yourself, “My power and the might of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today. If you do forget the Lord your God and follow other gods to serve and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. Like the nations that the Lord is destroying before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.

This scripture from Deuteronomy is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it’s an important reminder that the true source of our abundance and success comes from God our Creator. While we like to think that we’ve done it all on our own, the Holy Spirit has probably done more than her fair share behind the scenes to speak for us, think for us, and open doors we never dreamed we could walk through. Personally, when I get in sticky or uncertain situations, or need a boost of confidence, I pray for the Spirit to come upon me so that I am nothing more than her conduit. Secondly, this scripture details why it’s important to bestow gratitude on God, the source of all good things. The biggest pet peeve and sin in my book is ingratitude. I have witnessed this scenario too many times: in desperation, one sends out a SOS to God, but then after the issue is resolved or the prayer answered, that person moves on like nothing happened. Maddening!

As you do some introspection this Lent, I plead with you to ponder the source of your blessings. God often gets the blame for your misfortune but ask yourself if God gets credit and your undying gratitude when things go your way. A simple, “Thank you Lord!” shouted from your rooftop should suffice.


Gracious and generous One, May we remember that “every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from You, the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).

May your Spirit guide my gratitude to you this day and always, Amen.