Living Grateful

Living Grateful

By Susan Schrier Clouse

So many times we rush through Thanksgiving being thankful FOR things that we forget who to be thankful TO. Take time before you jump into Christmas chaos to thank God, the One who is the source of everything. God deserves our gratitude.

Go broad and go deep.  Here are some thoughts to help you get started.

Thank God for the variety and abundance of food we have. What an amazing Creator!  Imagine saying grace on Thanksgiving by naming each animal, plant, mineral and person that went into making your meal:

“Thank you God for turkeys. Thank you for mashed potatoes and the cows that provided the butter and milk. Thank you for the wheat that made the bread. Thank you for green beans and the pig that provided the bacon to flavor them. Thank you for the pumpkins, spices, sugar, eggs and milk in the pumpkin pie. Thank you for the grapes that made the wine and the beans that made the coffee. Thank you for every hand that went into bringing this food to us from the farmers, to the truck drivers, to the folks in the warehouse, to the people at the grocery store and the ones who cooked it. Thank you God for everything and everyone who brought this meal to us.”

Imagine how long that prayer would have been at your Thanksgiving feast!  And that’s just being thankful to God for the food.

Thank God for the people in your life – family, friends and coworkers. Thank God for those who have impacted you in some way, like teachers, pastors, and doctors. Thank God for those who help us live together like police officers, soldiers and, yes, elected officials. Thank God for folks who touch your life perhaps for only a moment like the Salvation Army bell-ringer and the people in need your generosity helps.  Thank God that each person is unique. How boring the world would be if we were all the same!

Thank God for the stuff you do have. Sometimes I get a little nuts and thank God for things like electricity, refrigeration, toilets that flush, WiFi, vaccines and the internal combustion engine! All made with the tools and materials God provided. I also thank God for the people with the ingenuity to be inventors and builders.

Thank God for intangible things that make life, life:  love, joy, truth, beauty, freedom and justice. God created these too.

Thank God for the things that happened in your life, the good and the bad.  It takes both laughter and tears to shape us into good people.

Thank God for where you live.  I love my home, my neighborhood, my state, Florida, and especially my country, the amazing United States of America.  How wonderful it is to live in a place where our government was established to protect God’s blessings to us, especially those of life and liberty.  I am especially grateful these past few weeks to be reminded of how important my role in our government is, through my precious and powerful vote.  And yours.  Thank you, God, for giving us a voice.

And, perhaps most of all, take time to thank God for being God.  I thank God who gives us life, now and forever, who loves us and saves us from our sins.  I thank God who is with me every day, who comforts me when I am sad, guides me when I am confused, heals me when I am sick and who fills me with joy.

What else would you like to thank God for today? Let’s make America not only great again, but let’s make America good again.  Let’s start by being grateful to God for all that we have and all that we are.

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