Psalm 86:12 (NRSV)
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
When I began chemotherapy, I was prepared to be quite ill and at times, I was. But after my first days of treatment, I noticed that I wasn’t as sick as I had anticipated. So I put a calendar on our refrigerator; for every good day that I had, I would mark the day with a red “B” to designate it a “bonus day.” As the days passed, I was encouraged by the number of bonus days I enjoyed. A surprising benefit of keeping track was the gratitude that deepened in me as the “B” days were noted!
This became a new way of living for me. Even now, over 600 bonus days later, I thank God often for this precious opportunity to live and enjoy each day. In my gratitude, I am also receiving other benefits. Blessings such as joy, peace, and contentment. As Maya Angelou said, “A joyful spirit is evidence of a grateful heart.”
The truth is, each day is a bonus day for all of us, isn’t it? From the moment we came into being, we have been living bonus days! For some reason, God chose to create US, our souls, for all eternity! It is overwhelming to consider. We have been allowed to live this one day. To breathe, laugh, cry, dance, love, care, run, read, learn, BE. And we will later continue on living in a better realm for all eternity.
Oh, some days are incredibly hard, when grief or illness or hardship or worry overwhelm us. Days we wouldn’t even consider marking with a “B.” Yet, even in those hardest days, we are assured by Jesus’ promise that there will be many bonus days yet to come. We have been given this incredible gift of being allowed to experience LIFE in the love of God. Let’s hold gratitude deeply in our hearts today.
Our symbol for today is a thank-you note. If you have time, you may even write a note of thanks to God!
Awesome, life-giving God,
THANK YOU for this gift of life! Thank you that through your son, Jesus, you have shown us that we are already part of eternity! But today, help me to be grateful for THIS moment, this precious time. Let me never take these bonus days for granted, but to live them fully and abundantly. Thank you, so very much. Thank you. Amen.