Thanksgiving is a time to remember the blessings we enjoy and thank the Giver of every good and perfect gift. This annual practice of giving thanks should also be a personal way of life. Thankfulness paves the road to a happy and contented heart.
Thankful people are happy people. They energize us. Grumblers focus on their perceived lack and bad luck. Their negative energy is draining. No wonder they feel so empty.
Sometimes we need reminders to recognize our blessings. A conversation with a table of prison inmates recently reminded me of my blessings. I left thinking, why am I so blessed? My family, like yours, had its challenges, but I grew up with parents who modeled right and wrong and loved me. The older I get, the more I treasure those gifts.
Gratitude is an attitude we must choose when it doesn’t come naturally. Recently something happened that bothered me for a few days. I couldn’t shake it until I intentionally thanked God for it. Thank You that You allowed this to happen and that You are using it for the good of all who love You. Thank You that this is good for me to go through.
Thanking God immediately bolstered my faith and restored my peace of mind. That weekend, I shared my struggle to illustrate a point in my talk. When I left the podium a woman said “I really needed to hear…”—you guessed it—the lessons I learned from my struggle the previous week.
Jesus demonstrated another miracle that comes from offering thanks. When it was late in the day and 5000 men plus their families had nothing to eat, Jesus told the disciples to feed them. All they had was a young boy’s lunch. Did Jesus slap His forehead in despair? Look what He did with His meager supply.
“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people,” (Luke 9:16, NIV).
“Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered?” (Matt. 16:9, NIV)
When Jesus thanked His Father for a lunch made to feed a young lad, it miraculously multiplied to feed an army of people with twelve baskets of left overs!
What seems to be too little too late for you? Have you followed Jesus’ example and thanked God for the little you have? Begin to thank God for what you have and see what happens.
Offering thanks changes us from the kind of people who complain, “Why me?” to ones who marvel, “Why am I so blessed?”
Larry and I are thankful for you. Your prayers, encouragement, and gifts bless us and keep us going.
Deborah W. Wilson