A grandmother was watching her grandchild play on the beach when a huge wave came along and carried him out to sea.

She cried out, “Please God, save my only grandson. I beg of you, bring him back.”

Suddenly another big wave came along and tossed the boy back onto the beach, good as new.

The grandmother looked up to heaven and said: “He had a hat!”

That’s gratitude for you.

Have you noticed that there are some who just can’t be satisfied? There are some — and I’m talking about you and me sometimes — who have a hard time expressing gratitude.

Or even feeling it.

In 2001 Stephen Post, a medical school professor of bioethics, created a research group called the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, dedicated to testing and measuring the effects of love, gratitude, and other positive caring emotions in human life.

Dr. Post’s research has discovered that spending 15 minutes a day focused on things you’re grateful for can have the following effects on our physical health:

1. It increases your body’s natural antibodies.
2. It increases mental capacity and reduces vulnerability to depression.
3. It creates a physiological state of resonance, improving your blood pressure and heart rate.

That’s gratitude for you. It not only lifts up the recipient, it also gives life to the one expressing it.

This is why we’re told time and time again in scripture to give thanks: A thankful heart puts us in right alignment with God and one another.

Paul wrote…

And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:15-17)

There. That’s gratitude for you.