We live in a society where it is relatively easy to eat several meals each day, buy gas for your vehicle, see your doctor, charge your cell phone, and walk safely along the sidewalks in most every neighborhood. We order our coffee, go to our jobs, plan parties and vacations, and don’t worry much about life when things are going well for us. We take these things for granted on a daily basis, and don’t even give them much thought until something upsets the status quo. After going through the Covid crisis the past few years, we found out that things we take for granted like toilet paper, some foods, car parts, and our health are not always guaranteed to be with us each day. We learn how to adjust, or find alternative ways to move on with our lives, but these are just glimpses as to how bad things could be. Do you appreciate some things a little more now? When are you most thankful?
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
We don’t usually appreciate or value the things we have until they are gone. Its relatively easy to say grace when you have a plateful of food sitting in front of you ready to be eaten. But what if that plate only had ¼ of what you have on there and no leftovers to be had…would you still be thankful then? A couple weeks ago, for medical reasons I had to go without food for a day, and due to a delay, went ⅔ of the next day as well. When I did finally eat a slice of toast, it tasted about as good to me as a great steak dinner. I was much more aware and appreciative of what I was able to eat than I have been for years. It often takes us going without something for a time before we truly appreciate its value to us. If you ever hear stories of what happens during war situations, POWs, and people treating others worse than animals, you get a sense of the depravity to which men are capable, but also the lengths of how long men can hold out hope for survival as well. We get glimpses of that now in the current Israel-Hamas war, where lives can change very quickly. How much do you appreciate the value of your own life and of those you love?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
We can go without some of the physical wants and needs of life for a time, but what about those spiritual and emotional needs? If you are a parent, you probably get used to ingratitude after the kids start demanding things and rarely show an appreciation for anything you do for them. Every hug and ‘thank you’ is much appreciated in our home. We all have a desire, if not a need to be loved and to show love and kindness to others. If you are a Christian, this should even be at the core of your identity now. Do we ever take Jesus for granted? When we are born again, we come to a greater understanding of the Love that God has shown to us, and this empowers us to love others with that same kind of love, even though they may never deserve that love. Let that love and gratitude spill over into all areas of our lives, that others may see the Source of it through us. Regardless of any current difficulties, let thankfulness lead us to a greater appreciation of this life we have been given, and for the lives of those around us each day!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16:34
Yours in Christ,