‘Give thanks in all circumstances.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
In order to have a grateful heart you must learn to be grateful for flawed people and imperfect gifts. Be grateful when your child attempts to make the bed, even though they make it imperfectly. Be grateful when your spouse expresses affection, even if they do it a little awkwardly. Be grateful that your body still moves around, even if it’s more wrinkled and lumpy. Don’t wait to feel thankful. The thinking and the doing leads to the feeling. ‘Give thanks in all circumstances’ calls for a decision and an act of your will, not an emotional response. It’s why today is a day of Thanksgiving-not Thanksfeeling.
James Dodson wrote a moving book called Final Rounds, in which he talks about the last months of his father’s life. They were both avid golfers, and when his father had been diagnosed with a terminal illness James took him to Scotland so they could play golf together at some of the world’s most celebrated courses. At one point James’ dad asked him about his marriage and family. James’ answer was evasive; he was so consumed by his work that there was little time left over. These were the words of a dying father to his son: ‘I wish I could slow you both down…The danger of great ambition is that you work so hard, you may someday wake up and find that the things you really wanted were the things you had all along.’
Paul writes, ‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ (Ephesians 5:14 NIV) Every once in a while we do wake up. And when we do, what we wake up to is gratitude for the things we take for granted.
SoulFood: Deut 30:1-32:28, Mark 12:13-27, Ps 101, Pr 12:12-13 National Day Of Thanksgiving
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2012