It’s that time of the year, I call it reflection time. Not like I haven’t been reflecting throughout the year, it’s more like the grand finale. Amidst the fun, celebration, eating and dancing with loved ones it’s hard to ignore all the ‘conscience talk’ on social media about goals, new year resolutions etc which may sometimes look like killjoys but they hit you right at the spot such that you just have to reflect a little bit even if you didn’t want to. When I look back at 2018, to be honest, I have a lot of mixed feelings. There are certainly so many things I’ve achieved as well as I have lost. I’ve been pushed to the wall, have passed through fires and still wondering how I survived, all I can think of is expressing my heartfelt gratitude to God and to everyone.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) says, ‘give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’
You may or may not feel like being grateful but the beauty of gratitude is expressing it even when you don’t feel like it. We obviously have many plans and wishes for the coming year, but how do we expect to have more next year when we can’t acknowledge and be grateful for what we have now.
As the year comes to an end, here are some of the things to be grateful for.
life in itself is a whole miracle, especially with the crisis in our country. Some of us have come face to face with death, yet we are still alive. There are many times your life could have been ended even without you knowing yet you are still alive. You may even feel unworthy and undeserving of life but being alive today is a sign that you have a second chance to make things right with God, yourself and with the people around you. I don’t know the mess you may have gotten yourself into this year but when there’s life, there’s hope. You have an opportunity to start all over and start right. Being alive gives you the opportunity to do that which you tried before and failed, to be better in all you do, to correct your mistakes. Life is a blessing, it is God’s gift to us. Don’t be a victim of this saying, ‘you don’t know what you have until you have lost it’ so enjoy it while it last. It’s true life isn’t all roses but whatever you may be going through right now, you being alive is a testimony you should be thankful.
- The people in your life:
I believe that all the people in our lives are there for a reason. The ones that loved and cared for you and the ones that hurt and left you, all was for a greater good. Sometimes when God wants to bless you, He brings someone or people into your life. People are generally a portal through which God’s blessings flow through and though the world is full of so much hate and evil, there are still people who are just like angels in disguise. I for one, I don’t think I’ll be where I am today if not for the people in my life. Be thankful for your family because they are just the right people you need for your purpose and destiny. Your friends, relatives, classmates, schoolmates etc all have a role to play in your life. Be grateful that you have people who love and care about you and be grateful that you can love them back.
- Basic necessities
Yes, basic necessities like air, water, food, shelter (there are 5 basic necessities of life, comment below which is the 5th– no google!)
Sometimes basic things aren’t basic for example they say oxygen is free yet asthmatic patients can’t get enough of it. If you have all these necessities of life then you have more reasons to be grateful. With our current crisis, having a roof over your head is something to jubilate and praise God for. So many have lost their homes and now live in bushes. Rain wets them and the sun dries them. The struggle is real. You may not realize how blessed you are because you are ignorant of the struggle others go through. I really got to understand that the struggle is so real when we received a patient at the hospital who had severe malaria because he was homeless and lived in a bush. Be thankful for everything you have even if it’s not enough.
- your future
it is even better to be grateful not just for what you have but what you are yet to have. Hope for the future is a great tool for success in life.
Jeremiah 29:11, ‘for I know the plans I have for you, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ How reassuring can it be to know that God has a plan for you and not any kind of plan but a good one, one that last and won’t fail. Your future is so bright you may not see it yet but be grateful for it. You may have lost some valuable things throughout the year but don’t lose your hope. It is one of those assets that no one can take from you and you have the power to either keep or let go. God’s promises are many and true. When you feel like all hope is lost, remember God’s promises and your hope will be restored.
‘Count your blessings, name them one by one
Count your blessings, see what God has done
Count your blessings, name them one by one
And it would surprise you what the Lord has done.’
Proverbs 10:22, ‘the blessings of God maketh rich, and added no sorrow’
Though there are general blessings, God loves and blesses us individually. I’m sure there’s that thing you prayed for and He answered you or there’s that thing He blessed you with even though you didn’t even ask. I know someone who calls God ‘Jehovah specific’ because He does specific things for her. you can use the few days left before the year comes to an end to think of those specific blessings and if possible list them out so you can always go back to it when you’re in doubt of God’s love.
I am so grateful for life, my family, friends and especially all those who take out time to read my articles. You encourage me to do better.
I wish you all a merry Christmas and Happy New Year