Gratitude is…

An integral part of healing.  Gratitude helps me see the good things in a day.  Gratitude helps me see the good in me.  I started counting blessings.  Lots of them.  I did the blessing a day for a month and barely scratched the surface.  Then someone pointed out that counting blessings was putting a limit on what I could receive.  Bad advice.  The blessings come, counting them helps me to be conscious and aware of them.  I could be up 5 minutes in a day how could I find blessings in that?  Well, I woke up and I could breath.  I could hear my children’s happy chatter.  We had food to eat.  We had a house to live in.  Then I actively studied gratitude.  What was it?  Did it mean your circumstances were wonderful?  Did it mean your relationships were great?  What was this thing called gratitude?

This is what I learned.  Gratitude is a state of the heart and has nothing to do with the conditions I lived in or what I could or could not do or any other outside influence.  For example, Corrie Ten Boom shared her experience with her sister Betsy and she reminded Corrie to thank God for the fleas.  They were in a flea infested barracks in one of the concentration camps in Germany.  They were Christians that helped the Jews escape so were sent to prison.  Corrie reluctantly thanked God for the fleas. Months later she over heard a conversation among the guards that let her know that they had peace within their barracks because the guards did not want to enter that flea infested building.  There was the blessing hidden in the torment of the fleas.  I suffer from stomach problems and my throat closing while eating.  I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia.  A simple in office procedure would give me relief. Something went terribly wrong.  What could be the blessing in that?  I whizzed through the emergency room without the gurney even slowing down.  5 days in the hospital discovered a severe bleeding ulcer that almost put a hole in my stomach.  Without the procedure going wrong they probably would not have found that hole in time because I was so used to my stomach hurting that I no longer complained.  Complications from a simple procedure gone wrong was the blessing.  However, I will never say that abuse was a blessing.  It happened because of decisions made by someone else.  What I do believe that Heavenly Father can take manure and turn it into fertilizer.  He can take a person buried and covered in stuff and make it place where I am planted and can grow and bloom.  The gratitude I came to know was seeing how my life is richly blessed in the worse circumstances possible.  I see the sunrise as a daily gift.  From clouds come the nourishing rain.  A broken soul is mended with gold. Shattered pieces create a mosaic.  Splintered glass becomes a stained glass window.   People create amazing beauty with broken things.  Just think what God can do with broken people.  Saying thank you is a simple expression of a heart felt gratitude.



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