On Reasons To Be Thankful
by Terry Broome
The Thanksgiving table was set. The turkey was a golden brown. Dressing and gravy, cranberry sauce, creamed corn, and all the traditional trimmings were set before the unlikely guests for this Thanksgiving meal. They were all residents of a boarding house, and none of them was there with a family member. This year they would be observing Thanksgiving without their children or grandchildren. In fact it had been this way for most of them for several years now.
The small band of residents joined hands and before they prayed each described a special reason to be thankful. One thanked God for each friend who shared the boarding house with him. One thanked God for the special gift of Jesus Christ. Each one offered a reason to be thankful, including the elderly lady who expressed her gratitude for two perfectly good teeth, one in her upper jaw and the other in perfect alignment on the lower jaw. She was so grateful they matched so she could chew that delicious turkey.
It was while he was in Prison that the Apostle Paul taught and wrote one of the most powerful texts in the Scriptures regarding the thankful spirit: Philippians 4:4-7
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
It’s difficult to be thankful “in” everything because some of our “life situations” cloud out our memories of reasons to still be thankful. Certainly one is not being commanded to be thankful for everything that occurs in life, but rather to have a thankful spirit even in the worse of situations.
There are still other things one can find to be thankful for.
These tenants in the boarding house no longer had family and no doubt longed for the days when they felt the warmth and comfort of family love. Their circumstance was at best lonely, yet they each took time to focus on a reason for rejoicing and thanksgiving.
I could learn from these folks, and I must learn from the Apostle Paul. Life doesn’t always serve what we think we deserve. May we have the help of God and of one another this Thanksgiving season to adopt the attitude of gratitude. Take the time to tell others around you of things in your life you are grateful for. Most of all, take time to tell God in prayer. “Father, in Heaven, we have so much from your hands of which we are not deserving. You have been so good to us. Help us to share your goodness with one another.” May each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving season, and may we all learn to be more appreciative day by day
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.