Thursday, December 4, 2014

Circumstantial Gratitude

They say that with age and experience comes wisdom.  For me what comes are deeper emotions, more frequent feelings, and a few more spontaneous tears.  Perhaps it comes from a realization that all I have and am comes from a merciful and generous God.

As I sit here this evening, hundreds of miles away my daughter is giving birth to my 5th grandchild.  I anxiously await the phone call to hear "mother and baby are well".  This waiting causes the deepest and strongest of emotions to boil over.  Gratitude is what rises to the top.

I am certainly grateful as I count my blessings - which include my family.  But there is an indescribable sense of gratitude what washes over one when he recognizes that both the good and the bad, the bitter and the sweet, the cold and the warmth, the pain and the joy, which are all part of our existence, are blessing from a loving God.  As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf recently said,
We can choose to be grateful, no matter what.
This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer.
When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace.
 Though my current feelings are not described as grief, discouragement, or despair, I, like every other human being, have experienced these over the years.  And my gratitude has emerged as these trials have ended.  Yet my real challenge is to maintain an attitude of gratitude that can withstand the onslaught of the future bitter pills that surely must come.

So in my current state of circumstantial gratitude where I await the birth of a beautiful grand-daughter, may I savor the sweetness of the hour with a thankful heart, and may I likewise commit to savor, with god-like perspective, my future - come what may.

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