Thanks & Giving

Allyson Joy1327 views

A few days ago I was talking to Stuart about a topic for this week’s blog. With Thanksgiving right around the corner he asked the obvious question, “What are you thankful for?” I chuckled and rolled my eyes, thinking how cliché it is to write about what I am thankful for the day before Thanksgiving. I continued getting ready for bed, opened my night stand drawer and something caught my eye, a picture of one of the girls from the African Children’s Choir.

The beautiful girl with a dark complexion and pearly white teeth is named Suzan. Her favorite subject is accounting and she aspires to be a business woman. Her desire is to provide employment opportunity for many people. Just this statement alone says so much about her heart.

As I crawled into my nice bed with clean sheets, warm blankets, and snuggled in with my two pillows, my thoughts drifted back to Stuart’s question, then back to Suzan. How would she answer the question, “What are you thankful for?” We might give similar responses, you know, the basic needs of food, water and clothes. But coming from Suzan, I would guess she would be grateful for these things because she knows what it is like to be without them.

The greater the need, the deeper the gratitude.

I am also reminded of this in our spiritual lives. The more we feel we have been saved from, the more we give thanks. While we know that one sin separates us from God, you see a different level of thanks being given by one who has been saved from one of the “big” sins. Take The Parable of the Lost Son for example. The returning son must have felt overwhelmed by the father’s response to his sin. While we do not have record of this son’s reaction, we do know how the older son responded, “Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!” (Luke 15:29-30)

The older son had been part of the family his entire life with all the rights and privileges. Clearly, he did not show much thanks for that blessing. He didn’t even acknowledge what was freely given to him. But the younger son who had been saved from a multitude of sins…he must have given thanks continuously. He understood the gravity of this gift.

The greater the need, the deeper the gratitude.

The thing is, we have all been saved from something tragic, something deadly. Some of us in a physical sense; all of us in a spiritual sense. But to give thanks we must understand the magnitude of the gift of salvation. And to understand the gift, we must be one who knows Jesus. We are all given the same opportunity to put Jesus on as our Lord and Savior in baptism, but not everyone will take this free gift. For those of us who do, we know the thanks we give.

The greater the need, the deeper the gratitude.

Tomorrow on Thanksgiving, yes, answer the cliché question that Stuart asked me that is oh so important. Remember Suzan and what she has been saved from. Remember the Prodigal son. And remember that just like them, while our physical needs may be different, we have been saved from a fate worse than death. And if we are in Christ, our eternity is secured.

Now that is something to be thankful for.

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