We, the Filipino people, will forever remember November 8, 2013 as the most tragic day in our modern history. The strongest typhoon ever recorded in the World’s history, Haiyan or locally known as Yolanda, left millions of people homeless, and about 8,000 people dead. For a moment, we grabbed the world’s attention, not for good news, but for bad news.
Amidst of this incredible catastrophe, I was overjoyed and ecstatic to learn that the Philippines made an effort to send a message of thankfulness throughout the world for the outpouring support, love, concern, and care of various countries that came to our aid.
According to the news, electronic billboards were used to display “Thank You” messages in various major cities including New York, Paris, Tokyo, London, and others.
The photos, videos, and messages in social media just give me a good reason to smile and to still believe in the hope that humanity still possesses the ability to make this world a better place.
Though it’s been more than three months now, there is no denying that it’s been a rough road for my countrymen. I personally witnessed how devastating the typhoon was during a relief operation in Leyte. However, all the help and aid of various countries are just amazing and a living testimony of what we can do if we are united for a common goal and to simply set aside our difference.
Today, the expression “thank you” just got a new and fresh meaning to me. Saying “thank you” is really an incredible and powerful expression of gratitude. I am happy to see that the Filipino people still manage to put a smile on their face and in spite of our dire situation, the fire of gratitude that is ever burning within our hearts is never put out.
Happiness and thankfulness should never depend on our circumstances. There are a lot of things we can be thankful of no matter what happens in our lives. When we are thankful and contended, we invite more blessings in our lives.
We are blessed more than what we ever imagined.
God is always in control and let us have faith on that. No matter what national or personal “storms” that may come our way, we can still be thankful.
Because we may not have everything, we always have something. If God tells us to put something down, I am sure that God will let us pick something up – something way better than our original plans!
Truly, there is no denying what King David said to one of his psalms:
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; NO GOOD THING WILL HE WITHHOLD from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).
This is the great promise and confidence that we have on God!
Finally let us always remember to be thankful. If only people would say “thank you” more often, I am sure that many problems in this world can easily be vanished away. I know we can’t change the world, but we can change the way we feel and react on things.
So the next time something bad happens in our lives, let us “count it all joy” (James 1:2) and let us say “thank you” because we are still alive, breathing, and have chance to make our tomorrow better than our yesterday!