Give Thanks

Give Thanks
By Donna Shepherd

”I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.” – Psalm 69:30From time to time it’s nice to get away from our daily routine. In autumn, a drive through the mountains to enjoy the spectacular range of color the Lord has created can be restorative.

Recently I made such a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with my family. The weather cooperated with temperatures in the seventies and a slight breeze. Just right. Right?

Wrong! It looked as if everyone who goes to Gatlinburg showed up that weekend. You couldn’t move your car down the main street more than a few feet at a time, or edge more than two feet through a store without running into someone or something- usually a stroller. Ouch!

To add insult to the injuries, the hotels could charge premium rates because of the demand. We checked in and after shopping, we came back to find, yep, you guessed it – no place to park.

Although I remained thankful the Lord gave us a safe trip and the means to go, a relaxing trip turned into an exercise in patience. I found myself tempted to forget about being grateful and become as impatient and rude as some of the travelers.

Thankfulness is an attitude. The American Heritage Dictionary says thankfulness is “to be aware and appreciative of a benefit; grateful and to be expressive of gratitude: a thankful smile.” Isn’t it better to smile at someone than frown, and much better to speak kinds words than lash out in anger?

When we have to wait in line to pay for something, rather than be impatient, why not use that time to thank God for our money? When we have to wait a whopping twenty minutes to be seated in a restaurant, let’s breathe a prayer of thanks that God provides us with another meal. We are so blessed we forget about the millions of people in the world who have no idea where their next meal will come from.

At my church, we sing a chorus called ‘Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart’. When our hearts are grateful, we make up our minds to be thankful- no matter what the circumstances. As Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

I had to come home to relax, but I’m thankful I got away for those few days. I’m also grateful my heels have healed up. Those strollers hurt!

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the beauty of this world, and for Your many blessings. I pray I’ll be grateful in spite of and in the midst of life’s circumstances. You’re so good to me. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

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