I hear that word coming out of the mouths of people more often than not, as a sigh.
“ah.. Life.” “Life is so hard.” “Why isn’t life working out like I want it to be?”
While praying, worshipping and meditating with a beloved pal yesterday, I came to two major conclusions that I figured could change our perspectives towards life and all it’s gimmicks.
1: Gratitude is the key to joy
2: We always have had and always will have more than we ever need.
Seriously, think about it.
Living in this clean, green, safe Lion City is a privilege. Beyond anything.
I look into world news and I see countries going at each other’s political throats. Bombings and death scares everywhere. North Korea is still under some weird “democratic” rule. Africa going through the worst El Nino they’ve ever had for the past 3 decades, leaving an estimated of 14 million starving people.
I mean, come on. What have we not to be grateful for?
I just had a warm shower (even with soap), I just brushed my teeth with this piece of synthetic rubber and plastic with bristles on it, I even had time to check out my reflection and complexion on this shiny surface we call a mirror. I wonder if most people in the rural areas of the world even get a chance to see what they look like, to see the beauty of the likeness that they were created in.
I get a chance to walk out into my dining room, check out the wide array of red-capped plastic containers filled with a mouth watering selection of Chinese New Year goodies. I get to open my fridge up (oh our precious fridges) just out of sheer curiosity and some strange form of satisfaction, to see the mounds of fruits and vegetables and various snacks we store away for the “rainy day” that never seems to come, because we always have more than enough food. And even if we do run out of food in the refrigerator, we get to run out of our house and purchase food from vendors just 10 minutes away. Either that, or we can be really lazy and have people send food to our very door, while we continue to sit and ponder about “life”.
I look all around me and all I see are blessings. The very bare minimal standard of living, He has got me covered. A perfectly functional body (do you even know how blessed you are to be a normal person?!), a roof over my head, safe drinking water, fresh food, cutlery, a bed+room, proper toilet sanitation, wood tiled floors, education, glasses to help me see, a laptop and even internet (God bless the internet). We are so immeasurably blessed! Don’t you see?
We only become dissatisfied when we count the things we don’t have. And that is so easy to do. Pity parties are “fun” for most of us, in a really odd and sad way. We sigh about not being able to satisfy our expensive and insatiable appetite. Whine about not having enough money to see the world, to do whatever on earth we want to. Mull about how we seem to always be alone though the contact list on your smartphone is screaming out that it clearly isn’t so. (Though there’s nothing wrong with feeling alone, or wanting things. If you truly feel alone though, or if you really are struggling to make ends meet, trust me – You have my utmost respect and empathy.)
But when you count the things you do have, fundamental ‘entitlements’ as human beings, and even the privileges, as basic as they may be, maybe you’d stop being as unhappy with your life. Maybe you’d start living in thanksgiving, gratitude. Maybe you’d start figuring out how vast life is, and how much life has to offer. Maybe you’d even find life itself, as Life and Love continues to pursue you and seek you out.
Sometimes it’s just hard to be thankful because you’ve forgotten how to. It has to be a habit, build it up. Don’t you want that joy of contentment to fill you up in all the crevices of your heart and overflow, instead of your constant never ending list of wants?
Start giving thanks today. Put away your phones, social media and all its facades. Count your blessings (even if you can only remember that one time today where you sneezed and someone said “bless you”).
I know my greatest thanksgiving will always rise to Jesus –
Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for me, for the person reading this post. Thank you for facing death head on, for breaking the powers of hell that I may be free, free from the hurts and sins that once haunted me. Thank you for being my greatest source of refuge, my comfort, my strength.
You are good, You are faithful, You are love. And Your love endures forever.
I have more than anything I could ever ask for, more than anything I could and will ever need, because I have Jesus.
Jesus loves you. Beyond your wildest comprehension of any expense of love. He loved you before you knew how to say your own name, before you even knew his.
Jesus loves you. You are loved beyond measure. You will never walk alone.