[Give] thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. (Col. 1:12)

AT TIMES I WISH I could live over again. I would be so much wiser if I could take today’s wisdom into yesterday.

But despite its sorrows and troubles, life has been good to me. When I look back over my life, it seems that times of trouble were redeemed by growth that came from those seeming disasters. Part of the secret of gratitude is to see goodness shining through every situation.

If we are not blind to it, we may find happiness in odd corners and beauty in strange places. Sometimes, it is a big task to focus intently upon all that I am thankful for—all that I must not forget.

I am thankful for my family. I have a spouse who complements my life, two children who bring joy, and two grandchildren who light up my days. I’m grateful for the churches that have richly touched and blessed my life and supported me in times of crisis. I’m appreciative of cherished friends and colleagues who care, who accept me “warts and all,” who stimulate my mind, and who speak truth in love. I’m thankful for my country that stands for and strives to ensure freedom. I’m indebted to the Lord of life, who offers salvation, provides strength and solace, and challenges me to new vistas.

Where are your “odd corners” and “strange places”? Will you look for happiness and beauty there today?

Find your happiness in your gratitude.

Drexel Rankin is a retired ordained minister who served full-time pastorates in Indiana, Alabama, and Kentucky. He and wife, Patty, live in Louisville, Kentucky.