I have a lot to be thankful for. Yet sometimes it is difficult to have an attitude of gratitude. Thankfulness is the attitude that displaces my sinful tendency to complain and thereby release joy and blessing into my life.
The Bible has much to say about the attitude of thankfulness: “Oh, that men would give thanks…” (Psalm 107:8)
In 2003, I had the opportunity to visit the Ukraine in the middle of a cold winter. While I was there I had the opportunity to meet the Sekret Family. Pastor Sekret is a minister that pastors a few small churches outside of Kiev. He had to work a job outside the church to support his family. During my visit they made me feel so welcome. Little did I know until I left that they feed me the best they had day for dinner. It wasnt much, a loaf of bread, spicy mustard, and a ring of sausage. Their kitchen table was partially a bed that overflowed into their kitchen. What I remember the most was the prayer Mr. Sekret gave before we ate. The family stood, and gathered behind their chairs and held hands with one another. The prayer was simple, but heart felt: “Slava Bog, doosha smachna,” which means ‘praise God for this great food.’ These were truly thankful people.
Why are we not thankful people? We are told that the great danger lies precisely in our constant contact with “stuff”. To many our things may seem too common, and become customary. B.B. Warfield once said to his students, “As the average man breathes the air and basks in the sunshine without ever a thought that it is God in His goodness who makes the sun to rise on him…It is your great danger. But it is your great danger, only because it is your great privilege. Think of what privilege it is when your greatest danger is that the great things of religion may become common to you!” Emerson said, “If the stars would come out only once a year, everyone would stay up all night to behold them (we see the stars so often we don’t bother looking at them anymore).”
Thankfulness is a decision no matter how common or crazy the circumstances are around you. A thankful person decides that there is no better option than to be thankful. Thankfulness comes ONLY when we decide to have faith in God as our PROVIDER. The PROVIDER is always at work in our lives and for this be thankful!
Think about how crazy it would be to be stuck on an island alone your entire life. As hard as it may be there are many things to be thankful for. In Daniel Defoe’s depiction of Robinson Crusoe he shares these examples. “I have been on this deserted island for 27 years, but it is beautiful! I am sick of these coconuts, but it is food! I am all alone, but at least I don’t have to worry about others in my business.”
I might not be on a deserted island, but daily I have a decision to have the attitude of thankfulness. I certainly have a lot to be thankful for: I have a home, a loving family, enough food, clothes for my back, a pluthera of possession, and I have a God who is utterly amazing.