It’s important to remember the good things others have done for us. Think of friends, and teachers, and pastors, and acquaintances. So many have done so much for us. Think of your parents; it’s good to recount all the things your parents have done for you. It’s estimated to cost $272,049 to raise a child from birth to 18 years of age. (~$15,000/year) To be honest that seems like an impossible number, but that’s the estimate. In addition to the financial cost, think of the “agony and ecstasy” of raising a child… teaching, nursing thru sickness, comforting when in troubles, helping get situated in life, forgiveness, encouragement, etc. Certainly we owe our parents a great debt of gratitude for all they did for us…even when not done perfectly.
But especially think about what God has done for us. The Lord has given us the gift of life and the promise and hope of eternal life. The psalmist tells us the Lord is kind and merciful…and that we should bless the Lord my soul and forget not all his benefits.
Psalm 103 recounts a few of these benefits:
- “God pardons all your iniquities,
- He heals all your ills,
- He redeems your life from destruction,
- He crowns you with kindness and compassion,
- He is merciful and gracious,
- He is slow to anger and abounding in kindness,
- Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
- He does not requite us according to our crimes,
- As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us.
- As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.” (Ps. 103: 1-18)
This is quite a list…but only a partial list…there is so much more. Truly we should bless the Lord for all he has done for us. It’s especially important to recall all these benefits when we are feeling a bit neglected…. “gee, no one ever does anything for me… where is God when I’m in trouble…. why don’t my friends reach out to me… what about me…. bla,bla,bla.”
Here is our assignment. Think about some of the benefits we have received from God and from one another and thank them. I’ll get the ball rolling.
“Judy, thank you for being a great wife for over 52 years…your love and kindness, and sacrifices, caring for our children and grandchildren, forgiving me, putting up with my occasional zaniness, and so much more. Lord, thank you for all in the list above (Psalm 103) and also for showing me affection, comforting me in my trials, preparing a place for me in heaven, answering my prayers, and so much more.
Okay, we have a start. Let’s each of us, stir up gratitude for the Lord and for our family and friends. We are so blessed. And remember gratitude is contagious. As we thank others, may they be inspired to thank others,…. and may a “giant gratitude ball” begin rolling down the mountain. Wow, this could turn into something wonderful.