Each week on Wednesdays around noon, AUHS gathers as a family for an hour of worship and reflection. We met in our chapel for this week’s noonday prayer organized and led by our financial aid administrator Cynthia Chambers. The topic of focus this week was gratitude. Cynthia selected some Bible verses as a springboard for a conversation about what is meant when it is said to have a grateful heart. As the holiday season is upon us, this is the time of the year to be thankful for all of the blessings that the Lord has given us.
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
“Being grateful and thankful for what you have is not always easy,” says admissions advisor Aya Almukhtar. “We often forget how precious things are and how precious they were to us before we got them. People often see the glass as half empty and forget that that also means that it is half full. Being grateful allows us to be at peace with ourselves and find more things to be grateful for. Once we recognize and acknowledge all that we have, we can pay it forward. The more we do, the more we reach”
Colossians chapter three reminds us that the LORD’s presence in our lives gives us a sense of peace and contentment that we should be thankful for. And we should “clothe [ourselves] with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” and share this peace with others.
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
All of us pray every day. At every step, and in every moment, we need to remember to be thankful to the lord.
“Can you be thankful when you do not have the things you want,” asks Dr. Christine Han, AUHS school of pharmacy faculty member. It is easy to pray for the things that we lack, but “when you pray and thank god, he gives you peace so that you can be grateful [for what you do have].”
“When I watch the news and see people suffering, I think to myself, hey, even on a bad day, I’m doing good. When I see stuff like that I have nothing to complain about. I am thankful,” says AUHS admissions staff Gregory.
Hebrews 13:15-16 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices, God is pleased.
“When we lift up the name of Jesus, he lifts us up too. I did missionary and bible study work in Las Vegas. When I came back, I felt even better than the people that I shared the Lord’s word with. Lifting up the name of Jesus was a blessing and had residual effects,” says Gregory.
Psalm 7:17 I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness. I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD most high.
Dr. Arjun, AUHS Director of the Pharmacy School, notes the importance of “acknowledging the fact that we are here because of god, which is a blessing. Having heard the acknowledgment out loud helps it sink in more.”
Dr. Chong adds that “every day we should please the Lord. Through speaking to others about his deeds, you can see the qualities of how you should live life.”
Psalm 9:1 I will give thanks to you. LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Ms. Mastron, our Library assistant, shared about her previous diabetic crisis and the accompanying feelings of hopelessness at the time. However, she was able to overcome her health issues. “I thank god for the creativity to come up with a solution for double vision eye exercises and my sister’s wisdom and support.”
Maria Maloles, AUHS Director of Marketing and Publications, states, “I am grateful that God has given me all of the things that I need and has blessed me with things that I don’t need. Grateful for the people around me who help me every day.”
Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song, I praise him.
“We can have strength for the lord in the weary times knowing that he will help me go over it,” says Dr. Albert, AUHS Professor of Pharmacy
“There is power in the spoken word. We can memorize things easier and better when you speak out loud. David is reminding himself that God is his strength. Where his strength comes from, who he should trust, and who he is dependent on,” says Kim Dang-Johnson, AUHS co-founder.
By verbalizing an acknowledgment that with Christ all is possible and that the LORD will give him strength, David was revitalized and his heart really leaped for joy. This is true for all of us. Knowing that God is our strength, someone we can trust and depend on, changes and uplifts your spirit.
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Mrs. Kim Dang-Johnson, Founder of AUHS, mentions that while we “sometimes we give accolades to others, people are constantly changing, whereas God is unchanging and reliable in his greatness. He has knowingly bestowed each person with talent(s). Whether you have one talent or five talent, put them to use.”
AUHS project coordinator Phillip added onto Ms. Dang-Johnson’s thought, stating that “God can give us gifts that we don’t necessarily think are useful, but we should still praise god. Job had no reason to be grateful but maintained it and was rewarded.”
We ended with a final verse from Ephesians chapter five.
Ephesians 5:15-21 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing on another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.