Have you ever noticed the physical phenomenon that occurs when you think about all the things for which you are thankful?

The other morning while still in bed, I started to list my blessings from God. First on my list was ‘knowing God.’ By the time I’d listed numbers two and three, I realized I was smiling on the inside. I could feel it internally. Even now, just thinking about that particular blessing of knowing God, of having a relationship with Him, of knowing what His plan is for me, of feeling close to Him gives me an indescribable feeling of contentment and joy. I don’t have a physical example to illustrate that feeling.  It was so much more than the feeling of being hugged tightly by a loved one.  The feeling came from being hugged by God!

That feeling grew as my list grew.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not believe in the Prosperity Gospel. That’s the belief that if we please God, we will be blessed with good health and wealth and if we don’t please God or if we lack faith, our punishment will be sickness and poverty. Christians down through the ages have suffered through poverty and illness despite their strong faith–from Stephen, the first believer after Christ to be stoned to death for believing in Jesus, to modern-day Christians who are tortured, maimed, imprisoned, and killed for refusing to deny that Christ is their savior. The so-called Prosperity Gospel is just one more stone thrown at Christians.

No, the things at the top of my list have nothing to do with my health or my wallet. I confess that while I’m in bed enveloped by a pillow-top mattress and snuggled under the warm covers, my bed and pillow usually make my list of things I’m thankful for, but I know I haven’t earned them. Our health and wealth or lack of health and wealth is not a measurement of God’s approval.  I know that God doesn’t love me anymore than He loves the homeless person sleeping in a cardboard box. In fact, he doesn’t love me anymore than He loves the non-believing homeless person sleeping in a box.

The real blessing is knowing and being loved by God. God loves you too, even if you don’t know Him. Get to know him and you’ll discover what I’m talking about.  He already knows you—the real you.  He’s just waiting for you to seek Him out and to get to know Him. Once that happens, your list will start off like mine and you will have a smile that starts from the inside and blooms on your face. 😊

Sondra Peters