Many years ago, two colleagues of mine were walking to work and one of them said: “What a beautiful day this is!”

The other said: “Yeah, but the clouds are coming in.”

I still chuckle over that.  But I ask myself: Am I the kind of person that sees the sunshine or the clouds?

I have to admit that I see a lot of clouds.  And my natural tendency is to look for clouds and to dwell on them.

Hannah Whitall Smith deals with this issue in her marvellous book The God of All Comfort.

Smith, writing about 150 years ago, tells of a woman who received a missionary box which asked her to drop a penny in for all the benefits she received from God. The woman was a chronic complainer but her niece urged her to drop in a penny for every benefit she could find in her life.

The woman was very skeptical.  But when her niece talked with her about poor people in India, she said she was glad she could work and support herself.  Her niece laughed and said that was a benefit and suggested she drop a penny into the missionary box.

This went on for some time as she realized other benefits that God had provided her, including everyday things such as selling eggs.  And more and more pennies dropped into the missionary box.

The point Smith was making is that God is showering us with gifts in our seemingly ordinary, humdrum lives.

Being grateful for everything God gives us – even if it is just being alive today – does change us.  When I praise and thank God, my mood and outlook on life turns from gloom to hope.

I know that from experience.  The question is: Will I make it a habit?

In Psalm 103, David says: “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.”

May the Lord open my eyes and heart to the daily gifts he gives me.  And may I continually give thanks for them.


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