Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving prayer: Be grateful of blessings that are taken for granted

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — There is an imaginative story told of a day when the sun did not rise. Six o’clock came and there was no sign of dawn. At seven o’clock, there was still no ray of light. At noon, it was as black as midnight. No birds sang and only the hoot of an owl broke the silence. Then came the long black hours of the afternoon. Finally evening arrived but no one slept that night. Some wept, some wrung their hands, in anguish. Every church was thronged with people on their knees. Thus they remained the whole night through. After that long night of terror and agony, millions of eager, tear-streaked faces were turned toward the east. When the sky began to grow red and the sun rose, there was a loud shout of joy.  Millions of lips said, “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” because the sun had risen after one day of darkness.

The very consistency of God’s blessings sometimes seems to dull our gratitude. The wonderful thing about the mercies of God is that they are fresh every morning and new every evening. Let us remember to be consistently thankful to our gracious God. (”1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching,” edited by Michael P. Green, page 376)

On this Thanksgiving Day and indeed each day, may we not be guilty of taking for granted the blessings and benefits that God so freely gives us.

Sara Young in her wonderful devotional book, “Jesus Calling” reminds us that, “Thankfulness is not some sort of magic formula; it is the language of Love, which enables you to communicate intimately with Me [God]. A thankful mind-set does not entail a denial of reality with its plethora of problems. Instead, it rejoices in Me, your Savior, in the midst of trails and tribulations. I am your refuge and strength, an ever-present and well-proved help in trouble.” (Habakkuk 1:17-18; Psalm 46:1). 

My prayer for this Thanksgiving is that we may truly have an attitude of gratefulness. Being thankful for the blessings that we too often take for granted. Being thankful not only because or if God blesses us, but being thankful even when we are going through difficulties and trials. 

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”  (2 Corinthians 9:15)

— David W. Dockery


First Baptist Church, Princeton