We humans like to complain. And understandably so. Life gets tough. Financial problems lead to stress; relationship problems cause tension among the people around us; the haze makes us want to gag the moment we step out of the house; horrible traffic conditions cause our blood pressure to shoot sky high…
We have plenty to worry about! And sometimes praise just isn’t at the tip of our tongues. With so many other things on our minds, remembering to be thankful can be a little bit of a challenge.
But we do have much to be thankful for. And when we are able to shift our focus away from the things that burden us to the richness of all that God is and everything He has done for us, we find rest, contentment, satisfaction, and joy! a
Remember that old song, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus”? It tells us to “look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
So when things seem to be spiraling out of control or when you’re just so unmotivated to do anything because life feels meaningless, take a couple of minutes a day and make good use of the five basic senses God has given us to give thanks to Him!
With your eyes, look around you. What do you see? Your computer? Your phone? A picture of your family? Your reflection? Thank God for the gift of sight. Thank Him for the many blessings He has given to you, and thank Him for the many ways you can use your sight to honor and glorify Him.
Thank Him for the beauty of His creation—the Majesty He displays through lightning and sunsets, flowers and butterflies. The Bible tells us to look to Jesus. He may be invisible, but He shows Himself to us in numerous ways on a daily basis.
With your ears, listen. What do you hear? The birds singing? Laughter? Music? The steady hum of your fan or air-con? The roar of the highway? Thank God for the gift of hearing. Thank Him for the joys of human interaction and communication through sound. Thank Him for technology that now allows you to enjoy the conveniences of telephones and iTunes.
Thank Him for the nuances of little melodies and magnificence of thundering roars that reflect His gentleness as well as His greatness. It’s easy to get lost in the noise around us, but God tells us to be still and know that He is God—to listen for His quiet and gentle voice.
With your nose, take a breath. What do you smell? Chicken curry or fried fish coming from your neighbor’s house? Your mother’s favorite perfume? Fresh laundry? Thank God for the gift of smell. Thank Him for community and the diversity of cultures we have been blessed with in Malaysia. Thank Him for the means of maintaining personal cleanliness and hygiene. Thank Him for fond memories that certain smells bring back to mind.
We may not give very much thought to the sense of smell, but scent has the power to overwhelm us in a way that makes us dizzy. So thank God for the many pleasures we can enjoy on earth through the fragrance and sweet smells around us, and may our praise to Him likewise be like a pleasing aroma to Him.
With your tongue, savor the flavors you put into your mouth. What do you taste? Intricate blends of different herbs? The sweetness of fruits and vegetables? Your grandmother’s amazing sambal? Thank God for the gift of taste. Thank Him for the richness of history and culture behind the things we eat—for the heritage behind the bak kut teh and mooncakes and Nasi Lemak.
Like smell, taste brings pleasure and delight. It is an experience that you have to try for yourself in order to know. And once you taste something, it is difficult to forget it. And so, even as we take delight in the food we eat, we should also take delight in God’s love for us. As Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”
With your skin, feel. What do you feel—How do you feel? Warm? Cold? Soft? Rough? Comfortable? Cozy? Thank God for the gift of touch. Thank Him for the clothes on your back and the blankets on your bed; for the day-to-day interactions like a casual handshake or pat on the shoulder than form human connections. Thank Him also for the intense and intimate moments we share with our loved ones through the sense of touch.
The sensations that one can feel through touch can range from entirely impersonal to altogether electrifying. It affects us in ways we would rather not admit—so much so that when something has a great, positive emotional effect on us, we say we are “touched.”
We may not be able to physically touch God, but through the display of love for one another and through the reflection of His love for us through the way we touch lives for Him, we get to touch the heart of God and we can praise Him even more for that!
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