To help you achieve and maintain a new level of contentment in your life. I encourage you to make a list of everything you have to be thankful for. It should be a long list, one that includes little things as well as big things. Why should it be long? Because we all have a lot to be thankful for if we just look for it.
Just the other day I was thinking about the muscle spasm in my back which has been causing me some discomfort lately (actually making me a little grumpy and irritable). I thought about how tired I was of using the tens unit, the physical therapy I had to take for it and of the doctor visits concerning it. But, then I thought about my age (a young 54), how well I feel most of the time, and how many of my body parts have absolutely nothing wrong with them. I thought of all the really desperately sick people in the world and of all of the hospitals that are filled with people who have pain and disease—and I started to feel very blessed indeed. You see, it is simple, when I focused on what hurt, I felt sorry for myself; but when I focused on what works well and what is pain-free, I suddenly felt very blessed. I was aggravated about needing to get physical therapy and shock treatments for the muscle spasm, but then I remembered that at least I wasn’t receiving chemotherapy or radiation to fight cancer, and suddenly I felt much better. I wasn’t happy about the muscle spasm, but the level of contentment increased dramatically. I know the muscle spasm will get better and that God will give me the ability to do whatever I need to do in the meantime because I have meditated on the power thought, “I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ Jesus.”
Deborah Norville tells a story in her book “Thank You Power: Making the Science of Gratitude Work for You” about a man named David, who found himself discouraged. He had moved to Manhattan with high hopes of landing a well-paying job and living in a nice apartment, only to end up with a meager salary as an assistant and living with a friend because he couldn’t afford a place of his own.
One Saturday morning, while out on a job assignment, David decided to start counting things that made him happy. He started by smiling at the sight of a mother walking her baby, then realized seeing a jet make its way across the sky made him happy. He noticed fabulous aromas from cafés he passed, and enjoyed bright, colorful displays in store windows. By the time he completed his assignment, he was once happy—and he was actually thankful he had moved to New York.
More than twenty years later, David is a successful entrepreneur, but he’s never forgotten the day that turned his life around—the day he learned about the power of being thankful.
Get out a piece of paper right now and start listing things you have to be thankful for. Keep the list and add to it frequently. Make it a point to think about the things that you’re grateful for when you’re driving the kids to an activity or waiting in line at the post office. You can only learn the “power of thank you” by practicing it. The Bible says we are to be thankful and say so, Meditating on what you have to be thankful for every day and verbalizing it will be amazingly helpful to you. Next time you have lunch or coffee with a friend, purpose to talk about the things you are thankful for instead of recounting all of your problems. Or, as the very least, things you are thankful for. By doing this you will at least keep things somewhat balanced and in perspective. The next time you are having a pity party about what someone has not done for you, get your list out and remind yourself of the goodness of the Lord, of Who He is and what He has done is doing and will continue to do as you walk daily in His Presence. Psalm 107:1; “O Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever.”
By faith I keep pressing on!