Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why be thankful

In Psalms 34:1 we read: “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall be continually in my mouth”. I often ask myself:  “how can I be thankful after losing my son?”

My mother was a simple woman who was uneducated. Yet she was a godly woman who saw God in His creation. I remember her washing fruits and vegetables and praising God in amazement over the beauty of the colors of the various fruits and vegetables. She would laugh when she saw a bird hopping or singing through the kitchen window. I remember her kneeling by the bedside at night praying and thanking God for everything even though she could hardly provide for our food and clothing. We too can be thankful for the things that we take for granted, for the fruit on the tree, the birds that sing, the flowers that bloom and the leaves that fall.

I am a biology teacher by profession. I often instill in my students a thankful attitude. For example when I talk about the kidneys, I explain to them as to why they cannot live without both kidneys as they remove the nitrogenous waste products from our bodies without which our bodies would become toxic.  I then ask them if they were ever thankful for their kidneys. I do not think that we realize all the blessings that we have until we lose them. We take talking, seeing, hearing, walking and being able to use our hands for granted, as an example. Many people are blind, deaf, crippled or paralyzed. Every heartbeat matters and we should cherish every moment of life as it is a gift.

If you have nothing to be thankful for this year, rejoice for the life within you that is a gift from God. You can be thankful for the miracle of spring that brings nature to a new life, the beauty of the sky and sea, the sunrise and the sunset as well as the moon and the stars that illuminate the darkness of the sky.

Do the memories alone make life worth living? Can I be thankful for the loneliness that I experience? Yes, it is because of the deep loneliness that I can reflect over David’s life for which I am thankful.  I often ask myself how can I be thankful after losing my son. How can I be thankful when my wounded heart and all life’s sweetness seem to ebb and die? How can I be thankful when slow sad years go by? How can I be thankful when peace was replaced with anguish and turmoil?

Thank God for life, love, and pain. Thankfulness to me is one of the most exalted principles that can provoke the heart of man. It is something noble and devout. 

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