O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever.
Each year as we approach Thanksgiving, whether on paper or in our minds, many of us begin to make lists: menus, grocery list, guest list, and even our Christmas lists. For some of us, another list comes to mind: a gratitude list, a list of all the things we are grateful for. A “gratitude list” begins in our heads, flow from our hearts and creates in us an “attitude of gratitude”. Webster defines gratitude as the state of being grateful : thankfulness. As we consciously think about and list all the things we have to be thankful for, we will find ourselves being overcome with gratitude. Think for a moment of a time when you received a gift, or someone did something for you and you said thank you and thought, "that was nice of them." Now think of another time when you received a gift or an act of kindness and you found yourself feeling overwhelmed with emotion, maybe even crying tears of joy. The first gift we received with appreciation, the second we received with heartfelt gratitude.
Gratitude is a very powerful emotion. It has the ability to transform our mood, our day, and even our lives. It can bring us out of depression and help us to de-stress even in the midst of an on-going stressful period in our life. Sometimes we may find ourselves in a bad mood and feel like we are having a bad day. If we will focus on our blessings for just a few moments, we will feel our mood lift and see our perspective change. Gratitude can also bring us peace. In Philippians 4:6-7, "God tells us that when we offer our prayers to Him with thanksgiving, we will have peace that we do not understand."
There is an old song that tells us amid life's trials and tribulations to: Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done. Throughout the song, it lists different scenarios of life and ends with the blessing you will receive if you take the time to be grateful. God wants us to see our blessings and live a life of gratitude, not just for a day or a season, but every day. It will transform our lives and give us peace in the midst of life’s storms. Let’s start our day with a prayer of thanksgiving and at night, “if you're worried and you can't sleep, count your blessings instead of sheep, and you'll fall asleep counting your blessings.” (Songwriter: Cole Porter)