LEARNING TO BE THANKFUL
(It Can Always Be Worse)
As Thanksgiving approaches, I feel God is teaching me to be more thankful and I realize I have overlooked many opportunities to do so. My philosophy is, “It can always be worse.” I have a good friend in his 90’s who says, “Don’t worry, it will get worse.” He always laughs and has a positive outlook (thru faith) although he and his wife have had many physical challenges and even lost a son recently
We are told to do all things without grumbling and complaining. In recent years, I’ve had more physical pain. When I walk into the rest home every week to visit and play games with the residents, I am thankful for the physical abilities I still have. Sometimes I feel alone and sad, but when I see so many of those precious people just sitting at the table nodding off with no one to talk to or do things with, it makes me so thankful for all I still have. The time I spend with those residents always lifts me up and makes my day. They are full of knowledge, wisdom and kindness even though they must at times feel forgotten and face so many physical challenges. I have nothing to complain about.
Sometimes as married couples we argue and become angry when our spouse doesn’t see things as we do. Not thankful for your spouse? Wait until they have a heart attack. As one of the few on his side of the family who survived a heart attack recently, it makes me very thankful my husband is still here. . Now that I’m dealing with cancer, maybe he’s more thankful I’m still here. (You’d have to ask him.) But I am grateful he is here to help me get through this.
My sweet neighbor recently lost her husband to cancer and now she has it herself. Another kind-hearted neighbor not only lost her husband to cancer, but has been tending her daughter who’s been fighting it for seven years. It breaks my heart to see her suffering from all the treatments. I’m in perfect health compared to her. It makes me thankful that I have it instead of my husband, children or grandchildren. I really am not fearful, but I would be if they had it. So it COULD be worse.
You may have family members or grown children who don’t want to be family. That is painful to deal with. But when you look at Israel, people in the Mideast, and Paris and even our country being murdered by terrorists, it makes me thank God every day my children and grandchildren are still alive and well. There is always hope for mended relationships when there is still life.
My grandchildren live in another state and I seldom get to see them. My friend has grandchildren in New Zealand–a lot further than Colorado, so it could be worse.
Do you find yourself yelling at news shows or some editorial or something the government has done, restricting our freedom? Yes, it does seem that this country is going downhill. But when I look at other countries where women can go to jail for being raped or even driving a car, and hear of people being beheaded with no one to rescue them, we should be so thankful for where we live.
I have always been terrified of snakes. Recently I have encountered 4 snakes, one, a four foot black snake as I walked in the bathroom. I’m still screaming as my husband picks it up, while laughing and lets it go outside. I begged him to kill it, but he said it wasn’t dangerous. Well, I think they are since I COULD have had a heart attack. Then three times I found a bull-snake in the basement. Suddenly, I remembered my brother, who does mission work in Ghana, Africa. He has found numerous cobras in his front yard and one time found a mamba in his house. So what am I complaining about? It could be worse. I’m not quite to the point of being thankful for the snakes I found in my house, but I AM thankful they weren’t cobras and mambas. And I’m VERY thankful those didn’t harm my brother.
As my friend says, “It WILL get worse.” He is right, but my answer is, “Yes, but after that, it will get better.” I’ve read the Book, and I know the end. So, as we approach Thanksgiving, let’s remember to be thankful to our heavenly Father for all He has given us.