Gratitude makes us rich. Sometimes we don’t appreciate the incredible gifts we enjoy daily until we face the possibility of losing them. A woman tending her dying husband remarked, “What we would give for one ordinary day together.”
This week our nation celebrates Thanksgiving. For the one who knows Christ, everyday should be filled with thanksgiving, yet in the busyness of life, it is easy to take our blessings for granted, or focus on what we appear to lack, or on perceived problems, and miss appreciating the true riches that are ours.
What blessings make your list this year? Here are a few things that came to my mind.
* When I was pregnant, good food made me nauseated. After that experience I thank God that I can enjoy my food and that I live in a place of bounty!
* When I stick my hand in my purse, I can find my keys, a mint or lipstick in the dark. I thank God for the sense of touch.
* When I hear beautiful music, my soul is touched. I thank God for music and the ability to hear and enjoy it.
* When I look out my window, I see a bounty of color: red and gold leaves, blue sky, pink and green camellia bushes. I thank God for the seasons and eyes to behold their beauty.
* We’ve traveled in areas without running water and lived for a year in a house that only had a tub and not a shower; every morning I thank God for my hot shower.
* James 1:17 reminds us that every good gift comes from God. I am thankful I know God through His Son Jesus.
When I stop and give thanks, something happens in me. I realize how rich I am. Consider some of the blessings a grateful person experiences and passes on:
* Generosity — Those who are truly grateful are gracious with others. Gratitude is a form of grace.
* Peace — Being conscious of the grace received brings with it awareness of the Giver of that grace. Whenever our minds are focused on Christ we experience peace.
* Witness to the world — A grateful person at peace with God lights up a room. It was the witness of a group of students giving thanks in a difficult circumstance that drew my own heart to Christ.
* God’s pleasure — Remember the ten lepers that were healed? Only one returned to thank Jesus (Luke 17:15-16). Thanksgiving blesses Jesus, the giver of our good gifts.
Larry and I are grateful for you and hope that you enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday. May we learn to recognize our simple riches and make thanksgiving a central part of every day and experience.