What if there was no one to thank? The thought occurs to me as Frances and I sit on the shore of a beautiful lake in north Alabama. The sun is shining, a gentle breeze wafts in the trees, birds are singing, and the first cool air of the season brings its sweet blend of rest and invigoration. It's hard to imagine a venue or circumstance that might bring a greater sense of blessing, or of the goodness of the One from whom "every good gift and every perfect gift" descends in gracious lovingkindness (James 1:18).
What if there was no one to thank? The very heart would be stolen from such moments. We might still enjoy them in a sensory and emotional awareness of the pleasant and the enjoyable. However, the only personal aspect of the experience would be the sharing of the moment with fellow human beings, either in being with them as it occurs, or in telling others later. This is a nice thing to do, of course, and being with Frances makes the blessing infinitely more blessed than it would be without her. I also enjoy telling you about it.
Again, however, what if there was no one to thank? If a mindless and heartless universe somehow brought us to this lake, this breeze, this sunlight, this togetherness and this sense of goodness as merely a random occurrence of fate or chance, I wouldn't be writing these words. Honestly, I wouldn't care enough to do so. I find little interest in merely writing just to be writing, even about nice and pleasant things. No, if there is no one to thank, there is little or nothing to report. There are merely descriptions of naturalistic occurrences that will all too soon blow away as dry leaves in the whirlwind.
There is someone to thank. There is Someone to thank. The Bible declares, "He giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25). The old hymn echoes, "Out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again." And our hearts know deep within that the very existence of our capacity for gratitude presupposes the existence of someone far beyond ourselves to whom we ascribe credit for every good and perfect gift.
I wouldn't want to be alive if I didn't believe and know such Truth to be true. I know you share this, shall we say, gratitude for the capacity to be grateful. Oh yes, there is Someone to thank, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and life is not life unless we consistently recognize His love for giving, and our need for receiving with the warm and grateful hearts that reveal our awareness that out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
"Oh Lord my God, I will give thanks unto Thee forever!"