Last summer after I tore the quadriceps tendon in my left leg and had surgery to reattach the tendon, I entered a long season of physical therapy and recovery. I am just now feeling somewhat back to normal. It has been a long haul.
Simple things like walking became a progressive process of restoration. When the leg brace was put on after surgery, I used crutches to get around. After the crutches came a cane and after the cane came months of slowly gaining back the stability and strength of my footing.
Getting out of bed was a major chore. I remember what I experienced a couple of months ago the first morning I was able to get out of bed normally by simply swinging my legs off the bed and putting my feet down on the bedroom floor. It was a joy! While still sitting on the edge of the bed before rising to walk, I uttered the words “Thank you, Lord.” I was thankful for the simplest of physical motions.
For the last couple of months, I have continued to say those words each morning when I get out of bed. It is now a habit and something I will continue to do for the rest of my life. It is no longer about being able to walk. It is now about being able to move through the day and not be crippled spiritually with an unthankful attitude. Uttering those three words into the darkness of the predawn sends out a ripple of thankfulness into the coming day impacting all the issues I will have to deal with – things that might produce a cynical attitude or a harsh response to people with whom I might disagree if thankfulness was not leading the way.
A lot of us have been “putting our foot down” of late declaring our personal line in the sand regarding things we think are unjust, evil, or sinful. I understand the importance of making such statements and drawing those lines. If our declarations against such things are done without a conscious attitude of thankfulness toward the Lord for the little things in life like walking or breathing or having a roof over our heads, we will eventually become emotionally hard, unreasonable, and crippled by an unthankful heart. Thankfulness is a miraculous sound in a world drowning in sounds of fear.
I love waking each morning and having another opportunity to send out another ripple of thankfulness declaring a personal “Thank you, Lord.” It wraps each negative issue I will face during the day with the possibility of healthy change that an unthankful heart cannot imagine. It also helps me realize the most important things in life are the simple things – things we take for granted until they are no longer present and functioning.