Today is Thanksgiving, and once again I am reminded of all that I have to be grateful for.
God loves me. I have a wonderful family (both by birth and by marriage). I have a faithful team of supporters who partner with me in ministry. I have the coolest calling in the world. I have fabulous students in my ministry. I live in America in the 21st century — one of the greatest, freest, and most prosperous cultures of all time. I live in California, which is as awesome as the rest of you think it is. And, and, and, and…
Today is Thanksgiving, and so such a list springs easily to mind. It reminds me that I am to be thankful every day. Many passages command us to be grateful. Among them are Ephesians 5:19–20, Colossians 2:7, Colossians 3:15–16, and 1 Thessalonians 5:18. They’re wonderful passages and worth memorizing.
But my favorite passage on gratitude is from Deuteronomy 8:17–18:
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…
It is God who gives us the ability. Not just the ability to produce wealth, but also the ability to make jokes, to find love, to enjoy a sunset, to get good grades, to run quickly, to leap in puddles, and to sleep soundly at night.
Every day is filled with occasions for gratitude, but we almost always let them pass unremarked.
This Thanksgiving, take to heart the ever-quotable G. K. Chesterton:
You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
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