“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies.” ~Henry Ward Beecher
I’ve read lots of things lately about Thanksgiving. My brother e-mailed me a while back about two books about the Science of Thankfulness: Thank You Power: Making the Science of Gratitude Work for You by Deborah Norville and Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Robert A. Emmons. Science is absolutely proving that an attitude of gratitude is good for you physically, mentally, socially and in just about every other way. The Bible has been telling us that forever. However, during a divorce, thankfulness is not the first thing that comes to mind … at least it wasn’t for me.
I’ll admit, early on I did not thank God for anything about my divorce. I was mad about it, sad about it, depressed by it and in despair about it. I was too busy being upset about it that thankfulness didn’t have a chance, at first. From where I am, several years out from my divorce, I can honestly say that things didn’t start getting better until I accepted that the divorce was inevitable, and I began to stop all of that ranting and raving. When I finally took a deep breath and said something like, “God, I have no idea why this happened; I don’t like it right now, but I am going to try to be thankful in advance for the life lessons I can learn from it and for the opportunities for personal growth that it will bring, and for the closer relationship I can build with my family through this,” that things started getting better.
Every major religion has a sense of gratitude and thankfulness at it’s core. Let’s really believe the truths of science and the truths of God and realize that being thankful is good for others and good for us. This season let’s just try being thankful no matter what happens and see how our lives improve.
“Be cheeerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.”
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (The Message)