I have been sleeping rather badly in recent weeks. 25 years ago I damaged a disk in my back and now it has become a persistent niggling pain with nerve damage extending down my left leg into my foot with pins and needles, numbness and cramping especially at night.
This week I went to see an acupuncture therapist that I have been visiting for some months who works on my lower back with both specific massage therapy and acupuncture. As I drove home again I was overtaken by a profound sense of thankfulness – that I had the money to pay for such treatment, that I had a car to take me there, that it works as a remedy albeit temporarily, that the injury has never become more serious and that my body has an amazing ability to endlessly rebuild itself despite the injury.
As I drove along I also realised how minor a matter this is compared to the illnesses, life threatening conditions and personal hardships that I know many are coping with even within my own circle of family and friends – let alone the crises, trials and turmoil of the wider world. I have a lot to be thankful for.
Developing “an attitude of gratitude” is a saying I have often heard. It is one that is easy to shrug off as a glib catchphrase. But focussing in on the details of our lives for which we can indeed be thankful is a life enriching practice. All too often in times of prayer it is more common to quickly focus in on needs and wants (even where these are for others around us) rather than lingering longer in thanksgiving. My NIV Bible has over 150 direct references to thanksgiving and thankfulness. Perhaps our consumer “have it all” society has fed our sense of entitlement and dulled our sense of gratitude for the wonder of creation and life itself.
How quick I am to ask.
My empty hands in gesture of my need
And all the while His Holy Breath
From tears in new born eyes
To fresh birthed galaxies
Whose light will not be seen on earth
For twice a billion years.
So stand a while in silent thanks
For He who holds eternity
In nail scarred hands.
© Martin Wild 2018
At my church (Tamworth Elim) on Sunday 21st January at 7pm there is an Encounter Evening of Thanksgiving. Come and "stand awhile" with us!