HOW THANKFUL ARE YOU TODAY?
Are you thankful no matter what?
Perhaps, you’re under some great burden at the moment. Perhaps you’re struggling with health in your own body, or perhaps you’re confused with life and the future. I know, these are difficult times for nearly everyone.
But even so, we all have so much to be thankful for.
Here is a man that intrigues me in times like these.
It was very early in the morning, even before daybreak, when this old man clutched the prison bars so tightly his knuckles became almost white. He could hear the footsteps of the prison guards and the and the Prison Warden at the ‘Carcere Mamertino’, one of the dreaded dungeons next to the Forum in the city of Rome. He knew this morning it was his turn to be martyred for his faith. His heart was beating like a chariot horse!
He turned around to see his only bed which was on the hard and cold stone floor of the dank, cramped prison cell. The smell of human faeces and urine was overwhelming. Not an hour passed when he was free from the constant irritation of the chains and the pain of the iron manacles cutting into his wrists and legs.
It was July of 64AD.
That morning he would be decapitated and buried with his severed head. Just outside the walls of Rome, at the second mile on the Via Ostiensis, on the estate owned by a Christian woman named Lucina.
The man was the Apostle Paul.
Paul had learned the meaning of true thanksgiving, even in the midst of great adversity. During his earlier imprisonment he wrote, “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 5:19-20).
Think. Always giving thanks! For everything! No matter what the circumstances!
It is people with ungrateful hearts that are bitter, selfish and dissatisfied. And nothing will do more to restore contentment and the joy of our salvation than a true spirit of thankfulness.
Here’s another thought…
In the olden world, leprosy was a horrendous disease. It badly mutilated and scarred those who had it, and it perpetually cut them off from any normal society.
Every leper yearned for one thing: To be healed completely.
One day 10 lepers approached Jesus outside a village near Jerusalem. They loudly pleaded with Him to heal them. In an instant Jesus restored them all to perfect health. But, sadly, only one came back and thanked Him.
All the rest left without a word of thanks, their minds preoccupied only with themselves, gripped with a spirit of ingratitude.
Today all of America and different parts of the world celebrate a Day of Thanksgiving.
It is said, that the early Pilgrims, maybe in 1621, thanked the Lord for the harvest and their protection from their enemies. Although forgotten by many, those American Pilgrims were a deeply religious people whose heritage was strictly founded on the Bible, both Old and New Testament.
The Pilgrims were God fearing and literally took to their Bibles. They celebrated Thanksgiving! There is a striking resemblance of the Thanksgiving celebration to the Feast of Tabernacles, which Scripture also calls the Feast of Ingathering. Sukkot, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, celebrates the autumn harvest.
Today as this is celebrated, we must be thankful to the God of our Fathers, who provides us with all we need and no matter what always keeps our ‘table’ full.
So Happy Thanksgiving y’all!