What Are You Thankful For?
by Ryan Duncan
“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.” – Psalms 69:30
A while back, there was an episode of The Simpsons in which the family is celebrating Thanksgiving. When the time came to say grace, Bart Simpson bowed his head and said,
“Dear God, we paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing.”
The first time I saw this clip on TV I remember feeling a mix of emotions. On one hand, I was angry that such cynicism was being shown toward God and a day celebrating thankfulness. On the other hand, I couldn’t help but relate to Bart a little. I was at a time in my life when everything seemed out of control. I had no money, my life felt like it was stuck in neutral, and my future was looking pretty bleak. Why should I be thanking God for anything?
If you’ve ever been in my situation, I want to point you toward a passage of scripture that helped me put things in perspective,
“On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" And he said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.’” – Luke 17:11-19
It’s easy to spend our lives worrying and obsessing over the problems of life. It’s also easy to overlook a blessing in times of need, or forget to be thankful when troubled times have been put to rest. Be sure you don’t become one of the nine lepers, who were so happy to be cured that they forgot who cured them. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to spend time remembering what God has done in your life.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Whatever your situation may be, count your blessings and take a moment to thank God for them.
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling's book "The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus."