A pastor in my area, Jonathan Watson, had a column in the newspaper yesterday that got me to thinking about being thankful. He gave a good illustration of ingratitude that I want to share with you:
"Carol decided to do something nice for her neighbor, Mrs. Gentry, so she baked a pie and carried it next door. When Mrs. Gentry opened the door, she said, "For Me? Thank you so much! You are so thoughtful for doing this." Because Mrs. Gentry liked the pie so much, Carol decided to bake her one the next week. Mrs. Gentry opened the door and said, "Thank you so much. You are so kind."
The next week when Carol took the pie over, Mrs. Gentry took it and said, "Thanks." The next week, she opened the door and greeted Carol with these words, "Your're a day late with that pie." The following week, Carol baked another pie. This time, her neighbor said, "Try using a little more sugar, and don't bake it quite as long. The crust has been a little hard lately. And, I'd like cherry or coconut instead of apple."
I could really see myself in that illustration and how I am with God. God has so richly blessed me and sometimes I feel so grateful. But when things are humming along and everything is going pretty well, then I tend to forget, then I tend to complain. "But, God, I wanted that prayer answered today. But, God, I wanted that prayer answered in a different way. But, God, if you would just give me that one thing more then I would be happy."
I don't want to be ungrateful to God. God has given me everything and much more. I couldn't make it without His love and grace and mercy. He alone is worthy of all my praise and I am so thankful that He is making something good out of the mess that was my life.
In these days leading up to Thanksgiving, I'm going to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness. I'm going to keep my wandering mind focused on the big things God has given me, like salvation and eternal life. And I'm going to keep my fickle mind focused on the little things God has given me, like eyes to see the tiny red rosebud that I picked and placed in my kitchen window last week open up and smile at me.
"Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise Him enough?", Psalm 106:1-2. NLT