10 reasons for gratitude

Posted on 27 November 2019 by LeslieM

It’s that time of year again when we pause to consider and be grateful for the things we love and hold dear. I believe it’s an exercise that we should engage more frequently than once a year. Every day brings experiences that we ought to be thankful for. Unfortunately, some wait to be shocked into an appreciation for the important things in life by the news of some tragedy elsewhere, or a near-death experience.
Thanksgiving Day provides an opportunity to consider what really matters in life.
In the “Peanuts” Thanksgiving episode that’s been aired every year since 1973, Marcie says to Charlie Brown, “Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. We should just be thankful for being together.”
God’s goodness towards us should always be recognized. In Psalm 136, the ancient Hebrews sang a song that celebrated the mercies of God upon their nation. Verse 1 exclaims, Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Then there is a recounting of specific instances of God’s power, protection and provision for His people, for which they affirm, His mercy endures forever. To that end, here is my list of 10 reasons to be grateful to God.
1) I’m grateful for a loving family: a spouse, children, parents and extended family members who provide the love, support and belonging that we need.
2) I’m grateful for good friends: acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors and associates who help our social development and keep us connected to the world around us.
3) I’m grateful for relatively good health: a proper diet, regular exercise and visits to the doctor help keep us one step ahead of sickness.
4) I’m grateful for traveling mercies: to be able to drive or fly to other cities, states and countries and return without incident or accident is a blessing.
5) I’m grateful for a job: to be employed, have a career or own a business is necessary to our existence. It may sometimes feel like a grind, but the payoff and benefit is often worth the effort.
6) I’m grateful for a home: whether owned or rented, there’s nothing like your own space to relax, unwind and retreat from the outside world.
7) I’m grateful for a decent education: To be able to read, write, comprehend basic math and communicate are skills that should not be taken for granted. Kudos to the schools and teachers that prepared us for life.
8) I’m grateful for America: Although our country is far from perfect and there may be much to complain about, we enjoy a far better existence and experience than many in other countries of the world. We also possess the ability to make changes through the ballot box and the political process rather than be strong-armed by dictatorial leadership.
9) I’m grateful for the freedom we enjoy in this country: Our rights as defined in the constitution guarantee certain protections that allow us to live in peace. Although we may disagree on certain things, we can do so agreeably.
10) I’m grateful for the knowledge of God: Awareness of God is important to the total experience of our humanity. We are more than flesh and blood. We are spiritual beings with a connection to the immaterial world. As we come to know God and respond to Him, life takes on a richer, deeper and fuller meaning.
The ancient Hebrews learned to trust, worship and serve God through their experiences of life. He was central to their existence, and they rightfully acknowledged His blessings. Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever (Psalm 136:26). We have the same opportunity to discover God’s work in our own lives and benefit from a relationship with Him. If you look closely, you’ll see His fingerprints everywhere. In this season, take the time to create your own list of reasons to give thanks for God’s blessings in your life. Happy Thanksgiving!
Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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