Time to Stop and Give Thanks
Anything good that has come into your life has come from God. A long time ago, in a land unknown by many, a king was known for his kind and gracious ways. He was a spiritual man who believed the Bible and tried to live after its precepts. He treated everyone fairly, showed mercy, and loved even his enemies. Because of this, the king was respected by all. But many in his kingdom tried to take advantage of his kindness. The king often hosted banquets for the royal families, yet never once did a guest offer thanks for the food provided. They enjoyed his food, sat at his table, and fellowshipped with some of the brightest minds; yet they showed nothing but ingratitude. He wasn't upset they had never thanked him, but he was greatly disturbed by their lack of thanks to God for what He had provided.
One night, the king decided to teach them a lesson. He planned a giant banquet, bigger than any they had seen before. He sent out invitations, and told all of his dignitaries that this feast would be one of the best he had hosted. When the night came for the feast, he found a poor beggar on the street near his castle, and paid him to come into the hall, eat the food, then quickly leave. As the guests arrived and everyone was seated at the table with the king, the beggar suddenly appeared and began feasting on the food. Shocked, everyone was still. They observed the beggar's actions with horror. Then just as sudden as he had come, the beggar left. Seeking retribution, the guests sought the king's permission to go after the man and punish him for his actions. The wise king stood and replied, "That man has only done once what you ungrateful people do three times a day. You sit and eat to your heart's content, then walk away without a single word of thanks to God."
How often do we act like these guests? How often have we "walked away" from God's blessings without a word of thanks to God? This month we have focused on thanking God for His blessings in our lives. We have already looked at many things for which we can be thankful, yet as we are a few weeks away from Thanksgiving, let's take a moment to reflect on God's blessings as a whole.
One of the biggest deterrents of thankfulness is pride. When we become full of ourselves, we neglect to see God's working in our lives. Pride is seeing God's work in your life, and attributing it to yourself. It's a reliance on self.
Have you allowed pride to enter your life within the past few weeks? Has pride crowded out thankfulness? Don't allow human nature to build yourself up. Realize that without God, you would have nothing.
Another deterrent of thankfulness is busyness. Have you found that things are getting busier? With school, work, church, activities, and holiday planning; the fall season can become a busy time. Yet as things become busier, make it an even more important priority to take time to thank God.
The next time you're driving on the freeway, spend time thanking God for His provision. As you wander the grocery store, thank God for providing food for your family. As you plan out your holiday gathering, thank God for family and friends. Make thankfulness a daily part of your routine.
Spend time thanking God today. Stop right now and think of a few ways God has blessed you. Remember, anything good that has come into your life has come from God. Keep thankfulness at the top of your "To-Do" list this season.
Source: Daily in the Word, November 14, 2009