Our verse for today comes from 1 Thessalonians 1:2, ” We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. “
One of my kids was saying her prayers a while back, and before I could hardly realize she had begun, she rattled off two quick sentences and an ” Amen, ” and was done. So I asked her if that was all she had for God, if there was nothing else from her day that she wanted to thank God for. She waited a few seconds, and then adopted that begrudging tone that kids use when their parents are torturing them, and began to offer thanks for another part of her day. But it was then that I interrupted her, for I needed to remind her that God was more pleased with her sincere two sentences than any lengthy prayer she might speak but not truly mean. So, after she stopped and thought a bit more, she decided that she was indeed finished praying, and we moved on to the next child. And as I thought about our prayers that we offer God and the things that we thank Him for, I was tempted to try and list for us here a meaningful, moving, heartfelt collection of topics and blessings that perhaps many of us neglect to thank God for. But that struck me as being very similar to my daughter’s attempts to extend her prayers just to please me.
Each of us does not need to read a list from someone else of things they should be thankful for. Simply open your eyes each morning, watch your chest rise and fall with each breath, consider how much is occurring in the world without any help from you. Think about the hospital near you, and how many rooms it might have, and how many families and friends are being affected deeply. Read a chapter from the Bible, or even a few verses, and consider all that has happened to make that true and meaningful. When your heart is on the trail for reasons to give thanks, it will not be defeated. Reading a list and saying thank you is one thing, but being thankful is another. And we know which side God is on. He commands us to give thanks and praise, so make it a point of your day. If you don’t, something far less will fill your day. And God forbid that it ends up being nothing.
As we seek Him today, ask God for a thankful heart. Where you have concerns or worries, ask God to show you the blessings, and trust in His all-knowing, all-powerful love. Let His people fill His throne room with thanks.