Gratitude Therapy

The winter had been an exceptionally long one in the Balkan Peninsula. How we had been waiting for spring to come! Finally, the beautiful flowers sprang up, the trees budded and then burst forth with new life, and the birds sang their praises that winter had ended once again.

Everyone, I think, looks forward to this time of year when God’s beautiful creation can be enjoyed to the full—everyone, that is, except severe hay fever sufferers. We unfortunate souls dread the arrival of spring. Happy expectation is replaced by worry and anxious anticipation. Pollen, one of the marvels of God’s creation and the sower of life, becomes our number-one enemy. Long walks in the forest, bike rides, strolls through meadows, and even bouquets of flowers at home are all out of the question.

I had suffered from such allergies for many years. Each spring I would start sneezing, my nose would run constantly, and my eyes would water to the point that they would develop a yellow film and I could hardly see. When my children would bring me bouquets of wildflowers as a gift, I would smile while holding my breath and quickly hand it over to my husband to discreetly discard. But this spring, I was determined to fight my hay fever—with “gratitude therapy.”

Every time I would begin to have a sneezing fit or my eyes would begin to itch and run, I made a conscious effort to direct my thoughts toward thanking God for something. One day, He told me that He was going to heal me. From that minute on, I thanked Him for that promise every time I felt my allergies coming on, and from that minute on, I was healed. My allergies were totally gone. Since then, spring has been pleasantly different for me. I now enjoy long bike rides with my husband, strolling through the fields, and even smelling the flowers.

I became a partaker of God’s divine nature,1 including His healing power. And as a bonus, I learned a habit of gratitude.

  1. See 2 Peter 1:4.