Give Thanks For Everything?
De Krijtverkopers Drieluik (middenpaneel:middag)
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It's springtime and an entire family -- mother, father and three of their five children have been working to prepare a field. This is a family without a lot of money. At first sight they seem a rather "sorry lot". They sit on the ground without a cover. Their clothing is poor and drab. They are barefoot except for father. Their backpack style lunch basket is frayed and their water jug is broken at the top. Lunch is a one pot meal from a can and served on tin plates.
But as you look at this family, you realize that you are observing a holy moment with them. Their hands are folded and they are quiet. Mother snuggles her infant and looks toward her husband and son with tenderness. The children are all still and well behaved. Father has his eyes closed and head bowed. His hat has been removed in reverence as he leads in grace.
Grace -- yes they have much to be thankful for. They have a beautiful day to work and they have a field to work in. They have each other and they have God. And now they have a hot lunch and a place to rest. At this moment they have all that they need and they will share it together.
Whatever state we are in there is something to be thankful for. Whoever we are with they are God's arrangement for us. Do you have a little? Then give thanks. Do you have a lot? Then give thanks. God's children are meant to be a grateful people. The world around us clamors on without stopping but we are not to do the same. We are to pause and give God thanks when we start the day, when we reach the midpoint and when we get to the end.
And what are we to be grateful for? We must thank God for the place He has put us, for the people He has arranged for us, for the town we live in, the job we do, the food we eat, the day we are living in AND for God Himself who does all things well.
We are not to look at what we don't have, but at what we DO have. How can God freely give us more if we aren't thankful for what He has already given?
"Give thanks in all circumstances for this (the circumstance you are in right now) is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:18