Gratitude – a Liberating Force

I selected a 10 lb bag of Russet potatoes on sale at Fry’s for 88 cents and smiled at the man next to me, “Wow, what a great price!” He looked at me with a scowl  and replied, “Yeah, but by the time you peel ’em down there’s nothing left to ’em” and walked away.

As he left, I wondered what had happened in that man’s life to make him so negative? Did he gaze at a glorious magenta sunrise and complain that rain was coming to his drought laden fields?  I offered a short prayer that the man would find peace.

This Thanksgiving, I’m thanking God for all the small gifts in my life. For a little dog who nags me for a walk in the fresh air. For a husband who after 43 years loves me, faults and all, as I do him. For a home with adequate supplies and a beautiful view. His mercies this year amidst trials have abounded and I am so grateful.

This world is so expansive. I find myself absolutely amazed that God cares for each one of His creations no matter how much we grieve Him and push him away. What boundless love! If each one of us could emulate it, what a joyful world we would see.

I realize that it’s hard to show gratitude when one’s hurting and I am not immune to it.  I have been through some of the worst that life can dish out but you know what?  I’m still standing! Tribulations have made me stronger, taught me life lessons while God and His angels have kept me safe.

I have drawn strength from Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Joseph, betrayed by his brothers, enslaved in Egypt, was still able to forgive. I praise God for the trials in my life, because it taught me to understand, endure, encourage and strive to become a new creation in Christ. I have found world-wide friends through my writings.  I am so grateful for all of my readers!

I’m certainly no Pollyanna, it took time and a lot of prayer to forgive those who hurt me. But life’s too short to eat bad cheese! Now I see how everything fit into God’s greater plan. I worked for a non-profit Christian organization but left for a very lucrative non-Christian one. It was a fluff position with no glory for God in it. We are commanded in life to do all for the glory of God. I forgot that.

“And whatever you do, whether by speech or action, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him,” Colossians 3:17.

This holiday season I’m thankful for all I have, not what I haven’t. I urge you to find contentment in the little things in life; the smile on a child’s face, the shade beneath an oak tree, the gift of friendship, another day of freedom . . . don’t allow anyone to steal your joy. Happiness is fleeting but JOY should be anchored to your soul.

Some of my patients couldn’t find it in their hearts to forgive. It became acid that destroyed the very vessel which held it. Christ sacrificed  himself for us, sinful as we are, and even as he suffered, still found it in his heart to forgive those who crucified him. If He can, how can we not? I urge you to forgive and find a liberating peace within. As you sit around the Thanksgiving table this year, pray that others will discover true peace.

Philippians 4:7 “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

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3 thoughts on “Gratitude – a Liberating Force

    • Not quite. The main one is good old Christmas. Easter is ‘celebrated’ in that it usually is a 4-day weekend (Good Friday to Easter Monday). There are national holidays as well, but people just like having the day off.

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