Much is being written and talked about being grateful today. With all our social media opportunities one can find many sources of grateful quotes or passages.
I remember hearing the quote attributed to Meister Eckhart that if the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.
It’s easy to be grateful when all goes our way. However when we experience struggle or suffering it’s more difficult. We can say the words but it’s hard to feel them.
Being grateful and sad at the same time may seem like a contradiction but we can have many different feelings at the same time.
When we’re struggling with a situation we need to acknowledge what the struggle is.
Denying it doesn’t help. Once the issue is identified, we can explore it more realistically. Then, even though the situation remains, we can be thankful for other things. We can be thankful for nature such as sunshine, colorful flowers, plants that grow in offices with only florescent lighting. We can be thankful for pets that welcome and comfort us. We can be thankful for the health or limited health we have.
We can be thankful to the people in our lives, those who planted, harvested, transported, sold, etc. the food we eat.
Most of all we can be thankful for God who loves us just as we are. Psalm 138 is one of the grateful psalms that we can pray. (From The New Testament and Psalms: An Inclusive Version: Oxford University Press c.1995)
I give you thanks, O God, with my whole heart;
Before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
And give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and faithfulness;
For you have exalted your name and your word above everything.
On the day I called, you answered me,
You increased my strength of soul.’
All the rulers of the earth shall praise you, O God,
For they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sign of the ways of God,
For great is sthe glory of God,
For though God is high, God regards the lowly;
But the haughty, God perceives from far away.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
Your preserve me against the wrath of my enemies.
You stretch out your hand, and your mighty hand delivers me.
God will fulfill God’s purpose for me;
Your steadfast love, O God, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.