“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. … (James 1: 2-8)
Have you ever found yourself so overwhelmed with gratitude? Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and a readiness to show appreciation for someone or something and to return kindness.
Many people come to the realization early on in life that life is not perfect. Most people I know equate a perfect life to a life filled with no pain, no opposition, and an abundance of good without any negative experience. By this definition, I too would agree that “a perfect” life is something to be grateful for. However, I am willing to bet that if everything were perfect it wouldn’t be good enough for an ungrateful heart. It is amazing to me when I find myself being overwhelmingly grateful in a world that is not perfect. I have found myself more times than not noticing that the life I am living is OVERFLOWING with reasons to be thankful.
There is a song that we used to sing at a church I attended back in Georgia that said,
“As I look back over my life and I think things over
I can truly say that I am blessed, I have a testimony.”
My testimony is filled with narratives of triumph and gratitude. Even as I write, my heart is overflowing and the melody and words of this song are flowing from my heart into the atmosphere because I am truly grateful for life and everything my journey has encompassed up until this point.
The reason for this gratitude is not dictated by circumstance. I am grateful because I see the good that has come out of every “negative” experience. When I think about where I could be or could have been in my life I can’t help but believe that somehow there is a God somewhere who had his or her eyes on me.
Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure of encountering a variety of people who have radically impacted my life for the better and these individuals are only a few of the many people that have been placed along my path over the last 32 years and for that alone I am grateful.
My point is not to convince others of how great my life is, but to help them see that despite hard times, despite setbacks, despite hardship, there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. The more grateful we are for where we are and what we have in life the more room we leave to receive more of the ABUNDANCE that LIFE has to offer us. There are times when I bask in the goodness of life. When I bask in that goodness, I am able to see the good in people rather than focus on the bad and as a result, I get to create loving, connected, and trusting experiences with people without fear or judgment.
I have also learned that you can have everything that the world has to offer and not be grateful for it. Gratitude is something we get to possess when we take the time to say THANK YOU!
What are you grateful for?