Sierra Leoneans must learn to thank God every day for his goodness

Published on November 26, 2010 by Cocorioko News   ·   No Comments

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By Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu :

Today,  Thanksgiving Day , brings to the fore a topic much discussed in Sierra Leonean circles –That is  our lack of cheer and a thankful spirit. We always seem to be complaining all the time .Why do we as a people love to grumble and complain a lot when we should be thanking God for his goodness and his tender mercies ? The reason is that we do not like to acknowledge how much God is doing for us and as a nation we have not learnt to count our blessings. Merely going to bed at night and waking up in the morning hale and hearty is something to thank God for everyday. We do not need a special day for thanking God for his goodness . Everyday should be a thanksgiving day in our lives.

One of the psalms of thanksgiving in the Bible, Psalm 107 , begins by enjoining man : “O give thanks unto the Lord ,for he is good” and it continues the admonition in Verse 8 : “O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness ,and for his wonderful works to the children of men. ” As I said earlier, this spirit of thankfulness is missing in the Sierra Leonean psyche. When one listens to some Sierra Leoneans, it is as if there is nothing to be thankful for  in our country.

During the war years when all one saw around him were death, merciless slaughters , pitiless amputation of limbs of innocent people ,wholesale looting, vandalism and destruction of property and indescribable suffering, one could have found reason to justify the grumbling and complaining .But  the war has ended in Sierra Leone and there has been peacebuilding and peace consolidation .The country is now in complete peace and indeed Sierra Leone has been declared by the World Bank  the most peaceful and the safest place to do business . We have a very good government in power today led by a reform-minded and progressive President in the person of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and as a result noticeable and magnificent infrastructural developments are taking place all over the country . The economy is improving ; businesses are being set up and commerce is flourishing. Lots of foreign investments are being made and mining activities have resumed all over the country. Best of all, oil has been discovered off the shores of Sierra Leone . You refuse to understand therefore why all you hear from opposition members in Sierra Leone is whinning and grinning, complaining and grumbling. It is because they are not thankful to God. We have spectacular problems and challenges in Sierra Leone . Nobody can deny that. But at the same time God is doing wonderful things for us and we need to praise him for them.

God is infinitely good and he blesses his creation but we have chosen to think only about the bad things .That should not be the case . That is probably the reason that the hymn-writer  Johnson Oatman jr admonishes in one of the most immortal of hymns :

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

If we examine our lives,  we will find that inspite of our many problems there are things that we must thank God for. The philosophizing writer said that he was complaining that he did not have a pair of shoes and was walking bare-footed until he saw somebody who did not even have feet to walk with, let alone wear shoes. Let us cultivate the habit of positively seeing the good and blessed things in our lives and praise God for them. One day, I was in the bus heading for New York and grumbling in my heart about a headache that was not making any attempt to go even after I had taken aspirin. When we came upon an accident on the turnpike where a man’s head was literally sheared off  his car by a tractor-trailer, I did not know how my headache went.

I am therefore using this Thanksgiving holiday to appeal to my people to cultivate the spirit of thankfulness to God. I don’t care what  problems  you are confronted with today ; have faith in God and start counting the blessings in your life and you will see wonderful things beginning to happen in your life . Life is not as very bad as some people often make it seem. God is so good that there is nobody who cannot count at least one good thing that God has done for him./her.

It is at times very difficult to praise the Lord when upon life’s billows you are being  tempest-tossed and the devil makes it seem like there is no way. But God is good and I admonish you today to keep trusting in him and one day you will come back and testify to your pastor or church about his goodness. Please enjoy the hymn below and may the words of this immortal song minister to you as you listen to the instrumental.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.RefrainCount your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.


When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.


So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

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