A grandmother was watching her grandchild playing on the beach when a huge wave came and pulled him out to sea. She pled, “Please God, save my only grandson. I beg of you, bring him back!”
Suddenly, another big wave came in and washed the boy back onto the beach, good as new. The grandmother looked up to heaven and exclaimed, “He had a hat!”
That’s gratitude for you, isn’t it? Have you noticed that some people just can’t be satisfied? Some people — I’m talking about you and me, not someone else — have a hard time expressing gratitude. Or even feeling it.
In 2001, Stephen Post, a medical school professor of bioethics, created a research group called the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, dedicated to testing and measuring the effects of love, gratitude, and other positive caring emotions in human life.
Dr. Post’s research revealed that spending 15 minutes a day focused on things for which you’re grateful can have the following effects on your physical health:
• It increases your body’s natural antibodies.
• It increases mental capacity and reduces vulnerability to depression.
• It creates a physiological state of “resonance”– improving your blood pressure and heart rate.
That’s gratitude for you, really. It not only lifts up the recipient, it also gives life to the one expressing it. This is why we’re told time and time again in scripture to give thanks. A thankful heart puts us in right alignment with God and one another.
Paul wrote, “And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:15-17)
Today, I encourage you to look for something … and someone … for which to be thankful. Take a moment to feel it, and then take a moment to express it.
In His Service,