Many years ago, I read a book about gratitude. I started to keep a list of things I was thankful for, and that list was like a buoy on my roughest days. In my old, cold house, the warmth of wool socks on my feet was a true treasure. When I felt lonely, a friend at the table was a reminder that I was loved. Even noticing light framing a cloud was a glimpse of beauty, made special by the brief encounter, and that I was lucky enough to see it before the moment vanished.
I started one of my daughters with a thankful journal when she was in elementary school. Before I presented it to her, I flipped randomly throughout the notebook and wrote verses on gratitude. I remember this one especially:
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name. (Psalm 100:4, NIV)
My girl is grown now and still keeps a thankful journal. She even reads old journals and still delights in the snippets of goodness of the past.
Reading this group of psalms today, I felt washed over by God’s goodness. Verses that speak of his enduring love; of how he heard the cries of specific people and led them; of his love for justice; of his holiness.
I kept returning to this one:
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[b];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. (Psalm 100:3, NIV; the [b] notes: and not we ourselves)
True treasure. Loved. Beauty I was lucky enough to glimpse today, before the moment vanished.
The Lord is God. He made me. I am his. I am his (people), and he watches over and cares for me.
Thank you, God.