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Davis Journal

Be Thankful and Grateful

Nov 04, 2022 11:56AM ● By John Waterbury

So, I asked a woman, “Where was God when you were being traumatized?”  I could see the wheels turning, but she gave no response.  

So, I asked a man, “Where was God when you had your terrible accident that killed your best friend, and put you into a coma for seven days?”  No response.

So, I asked another woman, “Where was God when you were mistreated, and divorced, and left with nothing?” No response.

And finally, I would ask you the reader, where was our God when the coronavirus upset the emotional, psychological, social, and financial fabric of Utah, and the rest of the United States, and the whole world?

The answer to all of these questions is the same; our God was right there with us, from the beginning to the end as we experienced our “tragedies.”

With all of this in mind, I’ve come to believe that life is a beautiful struggle. But when we’re in the midst of this beautiful struggle, it’s usually difficult for us to clearly see and appreciate what God has in mind for us. Why does life have to be the way it is? What does He want us to learn? Why does it have to be so painful? Part of the answer may be found in Doctrine and Covenants Section 78: 17 & 18.  “Verily, verily, I say unto you ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;  And you cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.  The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.”

That’s why the title of this article is, Be Thankful and Grateful. With an attitude of gratitude, we can be thankful we are children of Heavenly Father.  We can be grateful there is a plan whereby we can get a body, experience the challenges of mortality, and become a little bit more like Heavenly Father.  And what a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.  It seems logical that we ought to keep going just to see what happens!  

There’s always something to be thankful for.  Now, I’m not saying that we have the capacity to be happy all the time.  We’re in the midst of mortality, and we’re children.  But as we continue to grow, we’ll eventually understand that not only are we in charge of how we feel, but we can choose how to manage our feelings.  At that point, we can choose to be happy. 

It’s an interesting phenomenon that when things change inside of us, things will change around us.  And I’m confident that when this process unfolds, we’ll feel “slightly” so much better. 

It’s true that we’re part of a relatively small group, but a small group of committed people can change the world.  We can make it happen!  We are making it happen right now.   

John Waterbury is a retired Clinical Mental Health Counselor who has lived in Utah since 1984 when he moved to Bountiful with his wife and four children. Since then, he has written a weekly column for several years for the Davis County Clipper titled “The Dear John Letters” which was also used throughout the intermountain West focusing on addiction and mental health problems. This new column will focus on mental health and life management issues.  λ