Tuesday, March 10
Psalm 138: I give thee thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the Gods I sing thy praise.
Discovering Gratitude the Hard Way
Life is grand when you are healthy and your days are filled with happiness and good fortune. After many strong years, you start to take good health for granted. Worse yet is when you take God for granted and forget to pray and be thankful for your good fortune.
By the grace of God, I was born healthy. Colds and flu never kept me out of school for long. I was never in the hospital except for a few stitches. At work, I accumulate eight hours of sick time every month, but have used so little that I have more than eight months of sick time saved up. I have never had a broken bone, and I can still run. I’ve always played and worked hard with few limitations.
Then it happened. At 63, I had cancer. How could that be? A disease threatened my life, stopping me in my tracks. I didn’t know what to do and wasn’t prepared for the consequences. Unnerving anxiety. Tests and probes of my body to find the extent of the cancer. Hours of surgery. Weeks to recuperate. I thank the Lord for the loved ones in my life who prayed for me. I try to be humble, but when something like this happens, you take it to another level. How humble would you become to stay alive? God works in mysterious ways.
After coming closer to death, I feel different. I am more appreciative of my health and want to keep my body going. I am eating better and exercising more. My feelings are deeper than ever before…. about everything: my wife and how much I love her, my family, and friends. I have deeper appreciation for the love we share. God works in mysterious ways.
I have gained new empathy. I hardly knew what that meant before. Now I know how it feels. I have more understanding in my heart. God works in mysterious ways.
The more you give, the more you receive. Keep filling the cup until it’s brimming with love. That is life’s highest high. Love gives me joy, and that’s what I plan to take with me in the end.
Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you for showing me what gratitude is all about and teaching me not to take life for granted. Help others fill their cup and be grateful. Amen.