30 Days of Thankful: Day 4

Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all His benefits (Psalm 103:2).

Thankful. Just one little word printed in small letters across the front of the woman’s t-shirt.  But for some reason, it caught my attention. I think it was the period at the end of what wasn’t even a sentence. Thankful. I guess you could read it this way: “Thankful, period.” I would like that to be me. I’m thankful. Period.

But I have to confess. Sometimes I am less than thankful. Perhaps it’s because I’m not paying attention to all the blessings in my path. Or maybe I take God’s benefits for granted.

I was jolted out of this spiritual lethargy by something a friend from Africa once said when speaking to our church gathering. He was a genocide survivor from Burundi and had seen more death and destruction than I could begin to comprehend. “Do you have all your arms and legs—your limbs?” he asked us. “Then you are blessed!” “Do you have your eyes, your sense of hearing, your ability to speak?” “Then praise God and give Him thanks. Rejoice and count your amazing blessings!” he exclaimed. From his perspective, it was an incredible blessing simply to be alive. Healthy. Not maimed by war. Reasons to rejoice!

Stop and think for a minute. Reflect on the many benefits you enjoy simply because you don’t live in an area ravaged by war. Do you have all your limbs? Can you walk? Are you able to see and hear and talk? Then, as my African friend would say, “Rejoice at your great blessings!”

Our missions team was deeply moved by his words. We were compelled to come alongside our African friend to explore ways our church could help rebuild their war torn country. But there was a powerful, personal takeaway for me: I wanted to become more intentional about being thankful to God each day for my many blessings. To resist complaining about petty annoyances.

Next time you’re tempted to grumble, maybe pause and take a look at your hands and feet…and be thankful. Savor the ability to walk and see and hear. Let’s be intentional to count the ways God has poured His grace upon us and “forget not all His benefits.” So glad you’ve joined the journey!  30 Days of Thankful


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