I am grateful for many things in my life: my home, my family, my friends, the family car, food to eat, and technology such as my phone and the computer.
There was a story of about a waiter who asked a customer whether he liked his meal. The customer replied that everything was fine, but he would like more bread. The next day, when the customer returned, the waiter gave four slices instead of two, but the man was not happy. The next day, the waiter doubled the bread again, without success. On the fourth day, the waiter was really determined to make the man happy. So, he took a 3-metre loaf of bread, cut it in half, and with a smile, served it to the customer. The waiter could scarcely wait for the man's reaction. After the meal, the man looked up and said,' Good as always. But I see you're back to giving only two slices of bread.'
Are we like this customer? Are we grateful for what we have?
Be like Nephi
We can choose to be like Nephi, whose grateful heart never faltered. When his brothers tied him up on the ship, which he had built to take them to the promised land, his ankles and wrists were so sore 'they had swollen exceedingly', and a violent storm threatened to swallow them up in the depths of the sea. 'Nevertheless,' Nephi said, 'I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.'
Grateful in all situations
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.
Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It means that through the eyes of faith we can look beyond our present-day challenges.
Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God and hope for things we may not see but which are true. True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will.
When we are grateful . . .
Gratitude is a spirit-filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe full of the richness of a living God. Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonders of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God‘s love. This grateful awareness heightens our sensitivity to divine direction. When we communicate gratitude, we can be filled with the Spirit and connected to those around us and the Lord. Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence.
This year, my school is encouraging students to be grateful. Every week two value ambassadors would go on stage to share one thing they are grateful for. Following that, a teacher would share her own gratitude experience. One teacher shared this story.
One of her students did not bring her pencil-case. A classmate lent her a pen for the day. That student was so grateful to her classmate that she bought her a pen to thank her. The teacher said that we should be like that student who was grateful towards her classmates and even bought her a small token to thank her.
I am grateful for the Holy Ghost. When I could not find my things, the Holy Ghost has prompted me to look at a specific place and somehow I would be able to find it. During examinations, when I am very nervous, I prayed and felt the comfort of the Holy Ghost, thus making me not so nervous.
Being grateful makes our life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious. Our loving Heavenly Father knows that choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us joy and great happiness.