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Give thanks with a grateful heart

July 25, 2009

Senior Pastor of the Ellamore Charge of the United Methodist Church

One of my favorite pieces of contemporary Christian music is a song titled "Give Thanks" written by Henry Smith. It tells us that we should be grateful because God, "the Holy One," has given us Jesus Christ, his son. The song continues to tell us that because of what God has done, the weak say "I am strong" and poor say "I am rich." The composer based the lyrics on Luke 1:49-53 where Mary glorifies the Lord because she was just told that she was to be the mother of Jesus.

How often do we complain because of some inconvenience we have experienced? Could it be that we find ourselves there because we have gotten off track in our journey through life? Could it be that God allowed it to happen just to get us back on track?

A minister once complained about how the interruptions he experienced put him behind in his daily ministry schedule he had so perfectly planned. It wasn't long that he realized that the interruptions he was experiencing were his ministry. Sound familiar? Remember that all of us are called, even through interruptions. to be God's messengers of the good news. And when we share God's plan of salvation with others, one should give thanks for the opportunity. Not always do we get time to be by ourselves to seek rest and solitude. In Mark 6:30-34, we are told that Jesus and the disciples went to find a "desert place" to rest. But the people referred to as crowds saw where they were going and ran to the place where they would be. This bone-weary Jesus came upon the people waiting and seeing their faces, he had compassion for them. He then began to teach them many things. Jesus was grateful for the opportunity despite his tiredness.

Tomorrow's scripture lesson for Sunday worship comes from John 6:1-21 and is about the feeding of the 5,000 from the sack lunch of five barley loaves and two small fish which a young boy had with him. The story goes on to say that Jesus gave thanks for this sack lunch and its contents. Five thousand people were fed to satisfaction and the fragments that were gathered up afterwards filled 12 baskets. Isn't that amazing?

Have you not found it true that when you give thanks to God for even the most trivial inconveniences you find yourself blessed beyond measure. My prayer is that you will give thanks always with a grateful heart. As God blesses you in this life, know that the next life will be even better. God bless you and tomorrow, I'll see you in church.

(The opinions of this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Inter-Mountain, the Randolph County Ministerial Association or the author's church affiliation.)



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