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Gratitude that heals
The first mention of giving thanks in the Bible is in the book of Leviticus dating back some 3,400+ years (see Leviticus 7:12). Expressing gratitude is a vital part of our experience as the children of God.
Gratitude is so natural that it transcends geography, social and economic levels, race, and gender. It is boundless! Maybe that is because the love and grace of a grateful heart are not defined or limited by human circumstances. They are deeply rooted in Spirit, and therefore are actually spiritual in nature. The love and grace of a grateful heart are a very real part of our being as the expression of Spirit, God.
Giving thanks not only makes us reflect on what we have, but can bring healing. Some years ago I was in a lot of pain. I’d been healed many times through prayer, and I was praying in this instance for healing as well. My wife, who was praying with me, commented, “I think what we need here is joy and gratitude.”
At first I had a hard time even thinking of something to be grateful for because I was so uncomfortable. But I sat down, calmed my thought, and realized that God, Truth, is always with me—and that I could be grateful for Truth’s tender mercies. I remembered that Jesus gave thanks to God before feeding the multitudes and raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus’ deep understanding of God’s goodness made him so certain of these healings that he expressed gratitude before they happened.
I found myself feeling equally thankful to God, and sure that I would be healed. Within moments, I was totally free. The problem and its pain simply vanished, like air escaping from a balloon. This has been a seminal healing for me, which I think back to often for its immediacy, simplicity, and completeness.
The expression of the selfless grace of gratitude clears the way for new growth and enables us to experience more of the fullness of life. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, wrote: “Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 3).