Here on my desk is the small book Timeless Blessings. It includes short prayers from early fathers and mothers in the faith like Clement of Rome and Catherine of Siena. It has prayers from the Bible. One prayer that struck me recently, and maybe because I was thinking about Thanksgiving, is this one: O God our Father, we would thank thee for all the bright things of life. Help us to see them, and to count them, and to remember them, that our lives may flow in ceaseless praise; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. (John Henry Jowett 1846-1923)
At Thanksgiving we tend to think about God’s blessings ~ all the many things He has given us like food, family, homes, cars, a winning sports team, friends … God blesses us with so much. And when we think about that we, hopefully, remember to praise God. It’s not hard to praise when we have the things we want, or think we need. Things like health, plenty of food (just think about all that will be on that Thanksgiving table), homes, kids getting good grades in school, and 150 cable channels often come to mind when we think of blessings.
But blessings can come in other forms. Sometimes the blessing comes not in getting what we dream about or ask for, but in God not fulfilling our dreams. Sometimes a blessing from God doesn’t seem like one at first. Maybe we lost our job, had a serious illness, were in an accident, or had a loved one who died sooner than we wanted. These don’t seem like things to praise God for, do they? But the Apostle Paul tells us “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him”. We can praise God, we can thank God, because he is in control. He loves us more than we can ever imagine. He wants what he, in his infinite wisdom, knows is best for us.
William Law said the greatest saint is the one who is always thankful to God, who receives everything – that’s everything – as an instance of God’s goodness and has a heart ready to praise God for it. This season and beyond let’s praise God for everything. Let’s come to God with thankfulness for all his blessings.
Lisa and I want to express to you our church family that we are truly blessed to serve and be a part of such a loving caring fellowship. We give thanks for you, and it is a joy to journey life together.