Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Beginning of Thankfulness


I met a fellow believer the other day. He’d been down a hard road, much different than mine. I listened as he excitedly reviewed what God had done for him. The list grew, and I began to feel the need to tell him something. But I hesitated. It’s not that I don’t trust God’s calling—I just don’t always trust myself to pick the right words. You’d think words would come easily for a writer, but they don’t.

So I just kept listening as the stories of tangible blessings from the hand of God went on. The man’s gratitude showed. But the more he talked of jobs and money and health issues, the more I wanted to tell him what God did for me. Not that I could compete. Divine release from substance abuse was outside my experience. No miraculous healing. God answers my prayers, and sometimes His work is so obvious I know the answer could only have come from Him. But this guy had me beat.

The conversation turned to other matters. Life and family history. Books. Writing. Well drilling. (My husband’s line of work.) Whatever God had wanted me to tell the man slipped away into one of those missed opportunities. I have too many of those.

But then it came back around. He had one more story to share. Another miracle—a money matter. And when he was done, I spoke what was on my heart.

“I’ll tell you the greatest thing God ever did for me,” I said. “I was a hell-bound sinner, but now I’m going to Heaven. And Jesus made that happen.”

He seemed to hesitate, as if he’d remembered something. “That’s it,” he said. And he nodded.

Our conversation wrapped up and I went on my way. Did I say the right thing? Did it matter? Whatever God wanted to get through to the man, I think He did, in spite of my fumbling tongue.

As I pondered what to write for this Thanksgiving blog, I remembered the man’s gratitude. We should all be ready to share our story of what God has done for us. But nothing compares to what He did long before we started counting our blessings. And that is what I choose to keep at the top of my list.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7