In EVERYTHING — Give Thanks
I stopped by a friend’s home a few days ago. Understandably, she is distraught because her high-school-senior-son is missing out on his final year of baseball, as well as missing out on his Senior Prom. And she went on to feel sorry for those college students who are delayed in their graduations and other friends who are having to cancel or postpone their weddings. I get it. It’s a difficult and disappointing time for so many.
I responded to her by telling her about my morning “aha”. I know this is TMI (too much information), but it’s my truth. I say: “I am sitting on my toilet this morning. I am pooping. I say to God: ‘Thank you so much for my system working so good. Thank you for this toilet. Thank you for the water in this toilet. Thank you for this bathroom that has a door on it and it’s indoors. Thank you for water to drink. Thank you for my home. Thank you for my lights. Thank you for technology. Thank you for YOU, God – Who promises to never leave me or forsake me.’”
She got the picture. And, so do you. It’s expressing gratitude for what we do have. It’s seeing the bigger picture that this all will pass and we’ll be telling our grandchildren about the 2020 pandemic. We will talk about the faithfulness of God Who brought us through while telling them about those who got very sick and many who lost their lives. This time will go down in the history books.
Yes, we are inconvenienced. Yes, we are missing spending times with friends and family. Yes, we miss going to church and concerts and sports games and restaurants and previously planned events. Yes, we want to go back to “business as usual”. Yes, we want our “normal” to be normal again.
But, instead of what we don’t have or what we don’t get to do – let’s consider what we do have. So, what to do when we don’t know what to do? We count our blessings – even name them one by one. I mean it. Since you’re at home with your kiddos – why not play the “I am so blessed” game. “You have one minute to tell us what you’re thankful for!” I did the exercise. I gave myself one minute, using my phone app. Ready! Set! Go!
I heard my dishwasher running. I wrote down “dishwasher”. My eyes went to my piano that Papa played, I play, and our grandson plays. I wrote down “piano”. I was seeing — I wrote down “my eyes”, and hearing — “my ears”; I was sitting in a comfy chair — “my furniture”; I saw my computer — I wrote down “computer and internet”. I glanced over at my refrigerator — I wrote down “refrigerator”.
When we express gratitude, rather than being bugged and annoyed by this time when we can’t do anything about it in the natural, we can express to God how thankful we are for what we do have. A grateful heart sees each day as a gift. Thankful people focus less on what they lack and more on the privileges and blessings they have. The grateful heart is like a magnet that collects reasons for gratitude — for the paper clip to hold those pages together; for the milk in our cereal; for the song that soothes us; for the clock we hear ticking; for the light that turns on; for the car that takes us to the OPEN grocery store. Thank you, Lord!
May this time of uncertainty and inconvenience, become a time of really being thankful people for what we do have. May we choose gratitude as a habit that we choose daily as a way of life – even after this crisis is over. May we be overwhelmed with the beauty and abundance of all God has given us!