Originally published in the weekly bulletin of the church of Christ at Elkins on November 23, 2014
I read about a family that traditionally began the evening meal with a prayer of thanks. When they were old enough, they began letting the children say the meal prayer. At first they would ask for a pony, a new bike, etc., but they soon learned the important things which should be included in the prayer.
One Thanksgiving they had the whole family over. The nine-year-old son wanted to say the prayer. It went like this:
"Heavenly father, we thank Thee for the turkey, the rolls, the mashed potatoes, the red juggly stuff, and the bread stuff, even though I don't like it. We ask that You not let us choke on this food."
You have to admire the honesty of that little boy, and I also admire those parents who have instilled in their children an attitude of being thankful for everything. And yet, I wonder how often we adults struggle with the same thing. In a couple of days, those of us who celebrate Thanksgiving in this country will take time to be thankful for many things -- our family, our food, our homes, the freedoms we enjoy in this country and many other things.
But I wonder how many of us will include in our prayer of thanksgiving a thankfulness for the things we "don't like" -- the sickness of the past year, the financial struggles, the people we have trouble getting along with.
Paul said we are to be "giving thanks always for ALL things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph. 5:20) Christians need to thank God in their prayers for all the blessings that we enjoy, because all these blessings come from God.
The BIBLE says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from God." (James 1:17) That includes the various trials we face that will help strengthen us to grow spiritually (James 1:2).
---- Earl Sutton