A week ago today we celebrated Thanksgiving, a day that marked the beginning of the holiday season. Every day since I’ve contemplated the practice of gratitude for every blessing.
I love prayer walks, a time of reflecting on the beauty of the earth, a time to ponder God’s amazing color scheme in fall leaves. And the winter sky on a cold day so blue it takes your breath away with childlike wonder – a wonder often lost in adulthood.
It may sound cliché, the gratitude subject. I’d be like yeah, yeah, if I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a thousand times. The old gratitude platitude.
But I’m telling you, this one practice changes everything. Not only in you, but in those around you. Many years ago my neighbor who looked to be 100 years old began ailing. One day she said to me, “I can’t complain. I count my blessings every day that God sends. He’s been mighty good.”
For some reason this left a lasting impression on me. It’s one of the memories I can’t forget because the Holy Spirit keeps bringing it up, rewinding the scene of this aged woman sitting before me who celebrated life and gave thanks in all things. Who lived out the practice until the day she died.
The daily practice of gratitude strengthens the spirit to withstand hard times and face perils you’d never have imagined you’d encounter. I’m reminded of a scene replayed a thousand times in my mind of Betsy Ten Boom in Ravensbruck concentration camp. Her gratitude for the first meal served there: watered-down turnip soup.
Corrie’s reaction: “God doesn’t expect us to give thanks for this?”
Of course he doesn’t, but the exercise of gratitude still stood for Betsy, for it had apparently been a long-held exercise: gratitude in all things.
What are you grateful for on this day that God has made?
As I reflect on the daily practice of gratitude, a song I wrote awhile back surfaced, a song I’ll share with you below.