Our loved ones could be gone in an instant. Our health is fleeting. Our jobs, our friends, our material blessings don’t last. There are no guarantees in this life. As the Bible says at James 4:14, “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” — New International Version.
Every day, people disappear in the stream of time like tears in rain. Then any future happiness falls into the mighty hands of God. For that hope alone, I am forever thankful. But there is so much to be thankful for. For example, I am thankful that I had my parents for as long as I did. Now I am thankful for the memories.
I love my wife so much. We try to tell each other every day. I am grateful that she accepts me for who I am and the person I want to be. I love my son and his wife. It makes me happy to see them laughing and in love. I love my job and working with kind, professional people whom I respect and enjoy. And where would any of us be without trusting in God to take care of us?
Most of all, I am thankful to God for allowing me to know Him and His only-begotten Son by name and personal experience. The wonderful gift God has given those who accept Him and His Son can never be earned. It is undeserved kindness to us all. I pray that I can show my appreciation for the love He has given me through Christ and the hope that soon death will be no more, as promised in Revelation 21:4.
I share the words of Jesus Christ at John 11:41 when he said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.” — English Standard Version. How thankful are we for the privilege of prayer? As the Hearer of prayer, God does not assign listening to our heartfelt expressions to anyone else. He takes a personal interest in our prayers and for that we should all be thankful.
In fact, expressing gratitude should be universal — crossing the boundaries of age, nationalities, races, cultures and faiths, for who does not have something to be thankful for?
As the late English writer Charles Dickens wrote, “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.”
Gautama Buddha said, “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die so, let us all be thankful.”
The Dalai Lama said, “The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.”
Rabbi Harold Kushner said, “If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.”
Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “The more you practice the art of thankfulness, the more you have to be thankful for. This, of course, is a fact. Thankfulness does tend to reproduce in kind. The attitude of gratitude revitalizes the entire mental process by activating all other attitudes, thus stimulating creativity.”
Without question, we are not rats and this is not a race. This is your life. Let us take the time to be thankful today and every day for all good things. Strive to develop an attitude of gratitude and see if your life does not improve for the better. Here are a few reasons why many people count their blessings:
1. Your parents — For giving birth to you. If there is no them, there would be no you
2. Your mate — For being the one who understands everything you’re going through
3. Your family — For being your closest kin in the world
4. Your best friends — For being there whenever you need them
5. Your faith — For the ability to “see” the Creator in all His creations
6. Your speech — For giving you the ability to express yourself
7. Sense of smell — For letting you smell fresh air and beautiful flowers
8. Sense of taste — For letting you savor a world of endless flavors
9. Sense of sight — For letting you see the colors of life
10. Sense of touch — For letting you feel the texture of your clothes, the breeze of the wind, the hands of your loved ones
11. Sense of hearing — For letting you hear the trickle of rain and the voices of your loved ones
12. Love — For letting you experience what it means to truly be alive
13. Your mind — For the ability to think, to store memories and find solutions
14. Your health — For enabling you to do what you want and for what you’re about to do
15. Sunrise — For a beautiful sight to start the morning
16. Sunset — For a beautiful sight to end the day
17. Animals — For adding to the rich diversity of life
18. Technology — For making impossible things possible
19. Music — For lifting your spirits and filling your life with culture, rhythm and love
20. The Bible — For explaining why we are hear and where we are going.
Being thankful can contribute to our happiness in life. The more we become aware of our blessings the more we can appreciate what we have instead of focusing on what we do not have.
So have a wonderful life by being thankful and remember to give thanks to the ones who made it all possible.