(Thanks, Bill, for the example and inspiration)
A good friend and brother in Christ shared a story with me last week that greatly blessed and challenged my heart.
Bill had been searching for a document for several years. The need recently became immediate, but he again searched to no avail. Finally, he committed the matter to the Lord, trusting His will to be done.
You know what happened next. Bill found the document in a place he didn't expect. More importantly, he reacted in the perfect manner. "Glen, I immediately thanked God!" Bill wasn't bragging in the least, but just joyfully stating what happened. Again, the testimony blessed me immeasurably, and caused me to desire the same response in my own life when our Heavenly Father faithfully reveals His provision and answers.
"Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name" (Psalm 100:4).
I am convinced that if some watcher from without could witness the relationship between God and man, he would be convinced of two truths. First, the watcher would be amazed by God. "What a being that One is! He gives and gives and gives again to humanity in such free and gracious generosity!" Of humanity, however, the watcher would shake his head in bewilderment. "How ungrateful is this human race! How little do they thank the One who gives to them life and breath and all things, and whose very Son died for them! Why, even those who trust Him seem to so often forget to express gratitude to the Father who gives to them every good gift and every perfect gift!"
Thanksgiving is infectious. A grateful heart of gratitude spills over to others, reminding, encouraging, and challenging us to join Bill in immediate thanksgiving. Or, if we think of things in our past for which we cannot recall saying "Thank You" to the great and good Giver of all things, it is never too late. Indeed, you may recall that I recently shared with you that the last few months have been for me a journey to the past for the purpose of offering thanksgivings omitted at the time of the gift. It has been a blessed adventure that has literally taken me back as far back as my childhood in order to thank God for specific kindnesses given both before and after I came to know Him.
As A.W Tozer once wrote, "Thanksgiving is the sweetener of the soul." As Bill said, "I thanked God immediately!" And as the slow of mind such as myself must often practice, it is never too late to say to our Heavenly Father, "Thank You." We close with the hymnwriter's sublime reminder of God's immeasurably generous heart: "Out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again!"
"It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."