I Am Grateful For…
Every year Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It’s a great tradition–setting aside time to say thanks to God first, and then to family and friends for the things they have said and done over the years that have enriched our lives. In fact, giving thanks is such a powerful thing that everybody would benefit by making it a way of life. Every day should be Thanksgiving!
We know the Bible teaches us to give thanks always and in all things. And now we are discovering why. Scientific studies, such as the ones conducted by Robert Emmons, Ph.D., at the University of California, demonstrate that gratitude improves our quality of life significantly. Various studies have found that people who practice gratitude daily are 25 percent happier, have stronger immune systems, are healthier, make better decisions, and enjoy better relationships than those who see little in their lives to be thankful for. And when you add to these scientific findings the spiritual benefits of giving thanks to God, one would be foolish not to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
Cultivating gratitude begins with appreciating the good things we already have, instead of taking them for granted. It means shifting our focus from what is missing to being aware of what is already present in our lives. And if you do not think you have a lot already to be thankful for, try this exercise.
Imagine losing your eyesight and not being able to see for one year. Then imagine suddenly your sight returns. How grateful would you be for your eyes? Then imagine losing your ability to walk and see yourself confined to your bed for a year. Again, suddenly your strength returns and you are able to get up and walk down the stairs on your own. How grateful would you be for your legs? Imagine yourself being homeless and having to sleep in the cold. Then imagine somebody inviting you to live in the house you currently live in instead of outdoors. How grateful would you be for your house? Imagine how you would feel if someone who is close to you suddenly disappeared and is no longer there, but after seven months that person is found. How grateful would you be for that person? Do this for anything that you take for granted today and you will quickly see how much you already have and how blessed you are.
Child of God, let gratitude permeate your life. Stop complaining and start giving thanks. Not only will it glorify God, it will do you good.
“Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing—a grateful heart!” ~ George Herbert
This is my prayer. May it become yours as well.