Pastor D. Najuma Pollard (Courtesy photo)

Since the death of my son, I’ve had to do intentional personal work to focus on daily gratitude. Raw grief has the ability to hover and loom so heavy, that it blocks one sense of gratitude for other parts of life. However, my faith in God’s Word helped to open me up to the truth of God’s Word.

The Bible mentions over 114 times to give or throw thanks to God as well as other variations of the word that have multiple mentions. It is clear, just be reading the Word of God, that we are to cultivate a life-style of giving thanks and gratitude in all instances.

However, in a world that is tainted by so much challenge and strife, we often miss the power of being intentionally grateful and can fall into the trap of being overly cynical, where it appears that we have little to nothing to be grateful about!

Gratitude is a cultivated mind-set and way of being. It is accepting what we have, where we are, and what we have experienced to teach us great lessons, but never giving up on the possibility and hope of life improving in all areas.

What I’ve learned in this process of focusing on gratitude is that gratitude is a ‘force’ that creates movement in our lives. Gratitude shifts our energy, focus and draws in more of what we deeply desire life to be by acknowledging gratefulness and thanks for ‘it,’ even if ‘it’ hasn’t come to manifestation yet.

I am not a celebrator of the Thanksgiving holiday as customary in this nation, but living intentionally grateful year round is important to thrive in life. While this may all sound real nice and simple; doing the work is not easy; but worth the process.

My renewed daily mantra to start the day is, “I am GRATEFUL!”

The Rev. Dr. D. Najuma Smith-Pollard is the senior pastor of Word of Encouragement Community Church, 1153 Valencia Street in Los Angeles. To learn more, call (323) 902-7079.