Why Be Thankful?
TEXT: Psalm 103:1-22
“I don’t even like squash or green peppers,” Ava said. “So why should I be thankful?”
Thanksgiving was only a day away, and inside the McNeil’s house was a bustle of activity. On Wednesday, with school finally over, Ava came bursting through the door to find her mother busily arranging a centerpiece on the table.
“What’s that?” asked Ava. “What are the fruits and vegetables doing on the table?”
“This is called a horn of plenty,” explained her mother. “It is displayed at Thanksgiving time to remind people of all the things we have to be thankful for.”
“But I don’t even like squash or green peppers,” said Ava. “Why do I have to remind myself to be thankful for them?”
“Oh, no, Ava, I didn’t mean that we are thankful only for these fruits and vegetables,” said her mother. “When we look at the horn of plenty filled with all these things, it’s supposed to remind us of everything we enjoy each day of the year—our home, our family, and all the other good things God has given us. So every time you walk through the dining room and see this horn of plenty, try to think of something else you have to be thankful for.”
Ava looked thoughtful. “That won’t be too hard, Mom. God has done a lot for me, and for all of our family.”
What do you suppose were some of the things that God had done for Ava that she was thankful for? Were they things with which God has also blessed you? Did you ever stop to think that every good thing that you have in your life has been given to you by God? Your family, your home, your friends, your church, and everything that is important to you is a gift of God.
When you want to give a special gift to a close friend, you spend a lot of time choosing or making that gift. You want it to be just right. And you can hardly wait for your friend to open it! You want him to say, “Oh, thank you! I just love it!” But if he doesn’t seem to like it or doesn’t show any appreciation, you are going to feel disappointed.
That is how God feels. He lets us enjoy this world and all the beautiful things in it, and He wants us to thank Him for it.
We should take time every day to thank God for our blessings. We do this through prayer. When we eat a meal, we should thank God for the food He has given us. The meal may have been fixed just the way we like it, but it is God who provided the food.
In the Bible we read about ten men who had a terrible disease called leprosy. They had to leave their families and friends and live outside the city. Since there was no cure, they had no hope of ever being well.
One day, as Jesus was going toward their city, He saw the lepers. They saw Him, too, but they couldn’t go close to Him, so they called out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priest. As they turned to go, they were healed!
One of the men, when he saw that he was healed, returned and fell at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks. Jesus asked him, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” Though Jesus had healed all of them, only one thanked Him. The man who did, received an extra blessing the others didn’t receive. Oh, if only the others had also taken time to thank Jesus for what He had done!
We, too, are blessed when we pray to Jesus and thank Him for all He does for us. We don’t ever want to be too busy to say thank you! When we tell Him how much we appreciate the good things He gives us, He just keeps adding blessings to our lives.
Let’s thank God for His goodness, not just one day of the year, or just on Sundays when we come to church, but every day of the year. God has given so much to all of us!