LORD willing, I will officially be 76 years old; therefore, I know how to live according to “old school” ways, methods, manners and respect. Each time I receive something from others; whether that be gift, service, advice or simply a verbal blessing, I want them to know how grateful I am for their giving. My trained response from a very small boy, are the words: “Thank you.” Quite often, I follow that with, “Thank you very much.”
I will admit that far too often, we habitually respond in this way without much feeling of real appreciation. I know this because I am often prompted by the Holy Spirit to make certain the one being spoken to understand that I truly appreciate their giving something to me out of their life.
Just yesterday afternoon, my sweet wife, Ruthi, needed some laundry detergent; not just any detergent, but something which was “free and clear” of any fragrances or additives which would have negative effect on her sensitive skin. I am a “throw it all in the tub at once-turn it on and walk away” kind of clothes washing kind of guy (I said I was “old school”). After she educated me on the fine arts and special needs of laundry, I head for our local but remote “mom and pop” markets (we live 20 miles from nearest chain markets).
By the third little store in another remote community, I was losing all hope of being successful in my journey when this gentleman a little younger than me (ok, a lot younger), noticed my close up squinting at the fine print of the bottles of soaps. He didn’t even work there. He said, “Ya need some help?”
After I had explained my search, he stopped what he was there for and began looking. In a few moments he said as he handed me a bottle, “Here’s what ya need.” I was truly “thankful” in that moment! I must have thanked this stranger using various words and phrases three or four times before he left the store. This kind person allowed me to look very good in the eyes of my lovely wife. I was her knight in shining “free and clear.”
By now, if you are still with me, you are wondering what my point in all this droning on. I do have a point.
When we are given a gift, whether an item or a block of time or expertise, we normally thank the one who has given. How much more should we show gratitude and acknowledgement of divine gifts? James 1:17 reminds us that all good gifts are from God. Furthermore, we are instructed in Ephesians 5:20 to “always give thanks for all things.” How might we adequately do this?
First, we should take opportunity to speak our thankfulness to our LORD in private or in public settings. When I returned to Yellow Truck after my help finding the right laundry soap, I thanked God for sending that man to assist me. Be ready to give thanks to God more the many ways He helps us throughout our day.
Another method of giving thanks to God is by honoring Him with our obedience, as expressed in Romans 12:1-2, “present our bodies (lives) as living sacrifices to God.”
Then finally, if we are truly grateful for all that we receive from God, we will gladly share our time, money, gifts, and resources at all given opportunities. It is way too easy to become possessive of those things we deem to be our, while forgetting that it all is actually from God. In our worldly selfishness, we might cling tightly to His blessings to us. However, what we must do is give back to the LORD joyfully through everyday life experiences and through His Church.
Beloved, how do you express your gratitude to God? Take time today to identify some of His countless blessings in your life, and offer Him heartfelt thanks. If a thankful “something” in your life is a “someone”, tell them you are thankful to the LORD for then . . . often. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!