Proverbs 23:19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
Joni Mitchell sang ♫You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.♫
What a turn of events this year has been for me personally. I noticed while I had been doing yard work, I had a bounce in my step and joy in my heart. Spring came very early out here on the west coast of Canada and from February onward I have been preparing the yard for an early spring. Someone asked me, “Why are you so happy doing yard work?” I smiled and said, “Because I can.”
I would not have said that last year because I had not yet experienced the massive stroke that happened to me in August. After coming through that event I started seeing the blessing I had because I could do things with my mind and body that were unhindered. Suddenly the yard work was a gift and I am so grateful to God to able to walk, work, think and function properly after a severe stroke.
Gratitude is foremost on my mind because like a child who says, “Look, dad, look at what I can do,” I felt the same way. Look, Lord, look at what I can do because you are so faithful to me Father God and I give you thanks. 1 Thes. 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. We truly don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone.
We take so much for granted and become complacent with what we think is our ordinary life. There is nothing ordinary about us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knows right well. We have all been created on purpose, with a purpose, and for a purpose. Again there is nothing ordinary about us. We are chosen by God to be loved and blessed.
Why am I grateful? Why do I have the joy of the Lord? Because I can be grateful and I can have joy, both are my choice. Giving thanks and showing God our grateful hearts for all the things He has done for us is not an irksome task. If I have my faculties and my body is working well then I will say, “Thank you, Lord,” because I am capable of doing all the work I have to do and I can do it.
This type of acknowledgment is recognizing that I have been granted another day of grace by God and knowing that His love will deliver me out of destruction. Our God is all-sufficient. 2 Cor. 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. Why am I enjoying the everyday tasks of life this year that I was not that fond of last year? The reason is simple. I am capable of doing them because I was delivered from potential harm that could have hindered my body’s ability to functions.
I am grateful that I can work, run, sing, dance and swing a hammer and use a shovel. Yes, sir, that is a good thing. All these activities mean I am alive and well and I thank my God for that. Col. 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.
It is truly the gift of God’s mercy that gives us our health and abilities to reason, pray and choose life. Acts 17:28a For in him we live, and move, and have our being. I am so grateful that I have been taught these truths this year. It has made my life richer and it has given me the continual reason to give God prayers of gratitude because I can be grateful. Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knows them that trust in Him.
Don’t wait for something to go wrong in your life before you choose to start being grateful. Don’t wait for a tragedy before you become a person who prays to our God. Don’t wait for a life-threatening disease before you start reading some healing scriptures. Don’t wait till it’s gone before you do something. God is an ever-present help and near you right now. Give Him praise and say thank you because you can. Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. The blessings of gratefulness be on us all.