Thankful By Diana Roach

 How can you possibly be Thankful in COVID Times?                                                               There is a lot to worry about with COVID.                                                                             There is a lot of stress surrounding COVID.                                                                           There is a lot of fear in regard to COVID.

Seems like there is a lot to NOT be thankful for …the illness…the worry…the fear… the stress…

But I will submit there is plenty to be thankful for every day.  Even during these COVID Times. 

We just have to find it. 

We all have heard this before…find gratitude in the small things…the daily things…look for those things for which we should be thankful.  And say a ‘Thank You’ to God.

And I do believe the studies that say a habit of gratitude makes you happier…two cited here…

Researchers in Positive Psychology have found that gratitude and happiness are always strongly correlated. A possible theory is that gratitude moves people to experience more positive emotions, to thoroughly enjoy the good experiences, better their health, face adversity, and develop and maintain relationships of strength, which in turn makes you happier.

We all have those periods in life when we have to work hard at being grateful. What if you could be happier, despite your circumstances? Studies show that if you practice the art of gratitude  for only five minutes a day it’s possible. Emmons and his peers have discovered that a person who experiences gratitude has a higher coping mechanism and may show increased resilience to stress in the face of trauma. Gratitude can help us recover more quickly from illness and offers the benefit of greater physical health.

And this is something that we as Christians have known to be true for a long time, isn’t it?  Because we believe that giving thanks is one of the best forms of prayer there is.  

So we must find things every day to be thankful for, not just at Thanksgiving time.  Every day we must find things and be thankful because we will be happier…Studies say it…

But, we have to find the things… That may be the tough part; to find and recognize the things we are thankful for.  I believe in the  finding, in the looking out for things to be thankful for you are also doing a good thing for yourself and for others and for God. 

Because as you search, you are consciously thinking, “What am I thankful for today?” or “Who can I Thank God for today?” or “How can I Thank God today?” are prayers in themselves, aren’t they?

The act of working on being thankful is a prayerful act.  You are thinking of others in a positive way, you are thinking of God in a positive way and you are thinking of the world around you in a positive way. 

And then the act of saying the thanks whether it be for the sun shining, your favorite coffee mug or the best friend you spoke to the night before is a prayerful act.  Or saying thanks for the color blue, thanks for your bed, thanks for your wireless keyboard, thank you for water, thank you for Netflix, thank you for knock-knock jokes…all of those things.  It’s a prayerful act.

We know that prayer is important, we know that giving thanks is important.  And I will say that I believe that during hard times I think it’s even more important to concentrate on the things that we are grateful for as opposed to what is making life hard at the moment.   I think it’s what God would want us to do.  For ourselves.  For each other.  For Him.

So let’s work on being thankful, work on giving thanks and we will all happier…and so will God.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.