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The ABC’s of gratitude
The sun was shining. The sky was bright blue. But something wasn’t right. My head was hurting, and that was turning a good day into a bad one.
But wait! I remembered from my Christian Science Sunday School class that I could pray. I’d learned there are lots of different ways of praying. I could start with all the good things I knew about God. I could ask God for help. I could be grateful.
Be grateful? When my head was hurting? That seemed like a funny thing to do.
But then I remembered something else. It was a line from a book called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. We’d read this book along with the Bible in Sunday School, and it had taught me a lot about healing. The line I remembered says, “Are we really grateful for the good already received?” (p. 3).
That line told me something interesting: Even though it felt like I didn’t have much to be grateful for, I actually had a lot. I had all the good that God, good, had already given me—and was always giving me.
That sounded like a lot of good, and for a second I wasn’t sure where to start with my gratitude. But just then a thought went through my head—like it was pointing out the way. It said, “A is for …”
That was it! Using the alphabet could help me remember all the things I was grateful for.
So I started with A. “A is for angels,” I thought. I loved the definition of angels in Science and Health, which explains that angels are “God’s thoughts passing to man;…” (p. 581). I really felt grateful for all those good thoughts that were coming to me at every moment.
B was easy, too. I had learned the Beatitudes in Sunday School, and I was grateful they’d taught me how to feel close to God by being meek, pure in heart, and merciful.
This was fun! As I continued through the alphabet, I felt grateful for J—the joy God was causing me to feel at every moment. For P—God’s power, which was all and everywhere, so there couldn’t be some other power called a headache. For S—the fact that I was spiritual and safe. Those two S’s went hand in hand.
I was so interested in my ABC’s of gratitude that I quickly forgot about the headache. And when I did remember it a little while later, it was already gone. I was healed.
There isn’t just one way to feel grateful; you can express gratitude however and whenever and wherever you want. But what’s so great about gratitude is that anytime we feel our hearts fill up with thanks to God for all He is and all He’s doing for us, that’s a prayer that has power. And it brings healing.
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