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Thank God every day for his many blessings

Last month, I sat with my oldest daughter in the oncology clinic

at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. As I looked around at the children

with cancer, my heart broke. I could have asked God why I had to be

there with my daughter, who has Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome.

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Instead, I thanked God that she did not have leukemia. I put my

life in perspective. Our gratitude depends on perspective.

I know there are those who suffer with terrible trials in their

lives. But I believe we must try to see some good in anything that

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happens to us. It is the only way to survive. It is the only way to

keep our families going.

When my daughter was diagnosed with her illness, I learned to

appreciate her so much more. Our time together with our families is

precious. While we might experience hard seasons, there is always

someone who suffers more. As families, I believe it is imperative for

us to be thankful for all we have. Most of us have suffered trials of

many kinds. But isn’t there always something to be grateful for? As

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we look around our community, we may see others who have better cars,

a bigger home, a more appealing job and perhaps what seems to be a

better marriage.

But as I curl up in my soft bed or drive around in my

air-conditioned van, I think of those all over the world who sleep on

the ground. Their children are starving. I then have to thank God

that I live in America, have a husband I adore, and children I love.

God is good. I have food on my table and shelter. Even though I

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struggle with some health issues, as does my daughter, I can thank

God for another day to enjoy my family. Gratitude truly takes

perspective.

Life is a blessing. Our families are a blessing. Every day that we

have life and air to breath is another day to hope and be thankful. I

have struggled through many seasons where I wish I had more, wished

family life was easier, and dreamed the years of raising active

toddlers away because I was tired. I now thank God for each day he

gives me. Each moment, I look for the beauty in life.

Raising a family can be hard work, but God wants to bless us in

such. Do we want to waste our lives away coveting what others have?

Or do we want to cherish each moment -- full of gratitude? I choose

the latter. Do we want to grumble about that which we do not have and

be remembered as a complainer; an ungrateful person?

Let us learn a lesson from Doubting Thomas. How many of us

remember this disciple of Jesus? What do you remember him for? Most

of us would say we remember him as a doubter. But Thomas did great

things in his day -- he was capable of devotion and courage.

Yet this negative characteristic stands out in history as who he

was. Let’s not drown the beauty of that which we should be grateful

for by coveting that which we would like to change.

Are you known as an Ungrateful Annie? Perhaps a Coveting Tom? Are

you an unthankful parent or spouse?

Sometimes God has to shake us up and change our perspective in

order for us to be grateful. I used to grumble inside about what I

did not have. God bringing a trial into my life changed all that. I

now thank him daily for all I have, for truly I am blessed to

experience life this very day.

What does the art of gratitude take? It starts with verbalizing

our gratitude to God through prayer. It takes changing our heart to

truly appreciate all we have. It requires being thankful for living

in America, having a house to sleep in, and having family members.

Let’s show our gratitude to God and teach our children to be

grateful. After all, we have so very much.

* THE REV. KIMBERLIE ZAKARIAN’S column runs alternating Fridays.

Contact her by e-mail at HolyHouse9@ aol.com; or by mail at Holy

House Ministries c/o the Rev. Kimberlie Zakarian, 9641 Tujunga

Canyon Blvd., Tujunga, CA 91042.


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