Bible's Best Example of Thanksgiving
What does it say?
What does it mean?
The Order in Giving Thanks “giving thanks to God”
A little boy was asked by his father to say grace at the table. While the rest of the family waited, the little guy eyed every dish of food his mother had prepared. After the examination, he bowed his head and honestly prayed, “Lord, I don’t like the looks of it, but I thank you for it, and I’ll eat it anyway. Amen.”1384
A farmer visited a large city. In a restaurant before eating, the man bowed his head in a prayer of thanksgiving. Seeing this, a young man sneeringly asked, “Say, old man, back where you come from does everyone pray before he eats?” The farmer quietly replied, “The hogs don’t.”
The Ongoing of Giving Thanks “when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks”
Paul has problems
Paul has nothing
Sophia’s husband John, an ardent soul-winner, spent his short life preaching on the streets, in the parks, in halls and theaters, wherever he could. But at age twenty-seven, he contracted typhoid and quickly died, leaving Sophia Ironside with two small boys and no income.
One of the boys, Harry (later the world-famous pastor of Moody Memorial Church), watched his mother closely. On one occasion, he recalled company coming for supper. Sophia’s cupboard was nearly bare, but she scraped together a meal with the little that remained. After the visitors left, she found under one of their plates a ten-dollar bill—a vast sum in those days. With eyes full of tears, she offered thanks to God.
Some time later, the cupboard was again empty. Sophia gathered her two sons to the table for breakfast, but their plates were empty, and there was only water to drink. “We will give thanks, boys,” she said. Closing her eyes, she prayed, quoting Isaiah 33:16, “Father, Thou hast promised in Thy Word, ‘Your bread shall be given you, and your water shall be sure.” We have the water, and we thank Thee for it. And now, we trust Thee for the bread, or for that which will take its place.”
Just as she finished praying, the doorbell rang, and the boys ran to the door to find a man there. “Mrs. Ironside,” he said, “I feel very bad. We have been owing you for months for that dress you made for my wife. We’ve had no money to pay you. But just now we’re harvesting our potatoes, and we wondered if you would take a bushel or two on account of the old bill.”
“Indeed, I’ll be glad to,” replied Sophia.
In a few minutes, the potatoes were sizzling in the frying pan, and the boys had answered prayer for breakfast.
The One to whom we Give Thanks “he took bread, and giving thanks to God”
Sometimes it is not only right, but it is beneficial to express gratitude to another. Beth Rittler decided to contact people in her past that had been meaningful to her. She wrote letters or made telephone calls to many old friends and acquaintances. One letter went to a popular boy in her class who had paid attention to her—a shy, awkward girl with low self-esteem—even though they were not really friends. She located him and sent a letter. He responded with a phone call and now, 25 years after they were schoolmates, they are husband and wife.
Thanksgiving is a discipline that carries far beyond one holiday. We can make it a lifestyle. “Thanksliving” will bring grace to others and benefit to ourselves.