Gratitude in the Great Lockdown

Whoever said, “May you live in interesting times” certainly got his wish. Thanks to the Coronavirus peace and comfort seem in shorter supply than toilet paper these days. As I write, Ramona and I are self-quarantined and getting along well, I’m happy to report. A minute ago I said, “Honey, you’ve always been there for me. During the energy crisis of the ‘70s, we met. During the recession of the ‘80s, we married. We weathered Y2K together. And the crash of 2008. And the Great TP Shortage of 2020. And now here we are hunkered down indoors, six feet apart, together. I may be wrong, but I think you’re bad luck.”

Thankfully she laughed.

According to several studies, anxiety and gratitude have trouble coexisting in the human brain. I mentioned this on Facebook and many chimed in:

“I’m thankful for a slower pace.”

“Time with family.”

“Church this morning in our jammies.”

My friend James wrote one word on a Post-It note and stuck it to his nightstand. He sees it when he flips off the light and when he wakes in the morning. It says… “Thankful.”

Like nothing else, this is the key to facing perilous times. Joy grows best in the soil of thanksgiving. It produces the peace and abiding joy of knowing that God is at work in us, even in the hard times.

In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul wrote, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who are in Christ Jesus.”

I asked friends what they were thankful for in these difficult times.

Elaine said, “Hot water and soap.”

John said, “When I became an invalid…unable to walk, I found out I have more friends than I knew. They don’t consider me a burden; they are honoured to serve me.”

Belinda battles MS. She said, “The forever hope that comes from my faith and belief in Jesus.”

Enid said, “So glad that God assures us of His love. We have His Word and His promises.”

And what do I count when I count my blessings? Food. My next breath. That we didn’t hoard a thing and we still have toilet paper. I’m thankful for FaceTime with grandkids. The chance to share God’s love with others. The hope of eternity with Jesus. And during this lockdown, I’m pretty excited about my car. I just got 23 days to the gallon.

Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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