Friday, February 19, 2010

The Gift of Gratitude

When we see horrific suffering—as we’ve witnessed in Haiti recently—it motivates me to feel more profound gratitude for the gifts that we easily take for granted. When we feel overwhelmed with problems, it helps to reflect on our many blessings. That simple act can bring us peace amid suffering.

It's a simple law that when we celebrate love, we will receive love; when we celebrate goodness, goodness will follow; when we celebrate thankfulness, we receive peace. Paul said, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you."

As I consider the millions of people through the world who do not enjoy even the basic necessities of life, here’s a list of a few things for which I’m especially grateful. Please feel free to include yours.

• My family, friends, and neighbors (of course)

• Clean water to drink

• Food, grocery stores, my oven and microwave

• My refrigerator, washer, dryer, and furnace

• Doctors, nurses, hospitals, medicine, and medical clinics

• My home

• Schools, libraries, books, and computers

• My bathtub, shower, sprinkler system, lawn, and trees

• My bed, sofa, lights, chairs, kitchen table, and piano

• God, who loves each of us infinitely and eternally

• My arms, legs, eyes, ears, skin, hair, organs

• Freedom

As we choose thoughts of gratitude, we dispel feelings of fear, anger, and sorrow. Meister Echkart wrote, "If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is, 'Thank you,' it would be enough.” The Bible tells us in the Book of Colossians, "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts....and be ye thankful" (Colossians 3:15).

© Carol Brown

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