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Getting Around to Thanking God

I love the following story. I don't know if it actually happened but it could have. One Thanksgiving a family was seated around their table, looking at the turkey. Form the oldest to the youngest, they were to take turns expressing thanks. When it came the 5-year-old's turn, he looked at the turkey and expressed thanks to the turkey, saying although he had not yet tasted it he knew it would be good. After that novel expression of thanksgiving he moved on with a more predictable line of credits, thanking his mother for cooking the turkey and his father for working to make money and buying the turkey. Having gotten warmed up, he moved on in the prayer to join together a whole hidden multitude of benefactors, linking them with cause and effect. On he went: "Thanks to the checker at the grocery store who checked out the turkey. Thanks to the grocery store people who put the turkey on the shelf. Thanks to the farmer who fed the turkey and made it fat. Thanks to the man who made feed for the turkey. And thanks to whoever brought the turkey to the store. His detective-like little mind traced the turkey all the way from the day it was born to his plate. Finally, as he drew near the end of the all-inclusive marathon prayer, he solemnly asked, "Did I leave anybody out?" His two year older brother, rather embarrassed by the proceedings, said, simply but straightforwardly, "God.' Solemnly and without any sign of being flustered of frustrated, the 5-year-old said, "I was about to get round to Him."

How often do you get round to thanking God? Someone noted that the worst possible moment for an atheist is when he feels grateful and has no one to thank. An even worse moment comes when those who claim faith in a loving, kind, and benevolent God feel they have nothing to thank God for and repeatedly fail to give Him thanks. God has blessed us in ways too numerous to count. In the words of Psalm 68:19, He 'daily loads us with benefits." From food on the table to faith in the heart to forgiveness of our sins, God has poured out blessings upon us. As the Scripture says in James 1:17, God is the giver of "every good gift and every perfect gift." Therefore, we should be, as taught in Ephesians 5:20, "giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." This verse reminds me that gratitude is more a matter of what I have in my heart than what I have in my hand. Careful study reveals the apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote these words (see Ephesians 4:1; 6:20). There is always something to thank God for, even from a prison cell! Old but beautiful words teach a truth we cannot escape but often forget: "Thank God for dirty dishes, They have a tale to tell; I While others folks go hungry, We're eating mighty well. / With home and health and happiness, I shouldn't want to fuss; / By the stack of evidence, God's been good to us!" God. is good to us. As the church in Guyana often says, "God is good, all the time.  All the time, God is good." Our Heavenly Faber is a great God who loves us every moment of every day. He has promised to never leave us or fake us. If we take time to count OUT blessings, surely we are compelled to exclaim with the apostle Paul, "thanks be unto God for His indescribable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15). How often do you get around to thanking God?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ