Looking to the Source of Our Blessings
To be truly thankful requires looking beyond our blessings to the Source of those blessings. While it is good to count our blessings and even name them one by one as the hymn says, it is even better to give thanks to God continually with a grateful heart. Grateful is defined in the following terms—warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful; expressing gratitude. One might ask the question as to why a person would be ungrateful. An answer that comes quickly to mind is the peril of privilege. Another way of saying that is to speak of taking things for granted. For example, the Swiss peasant living on the Alpine slopes sees no grandeur in those snow clad summits upon which his eyes constantly rest. The sailor who lives by the sea hears no music in the ocean’s roar. Even more, we Christians may be so familiar with the gospel that we are unaffected by its glory, grandeur and grace. One other reason for not being grateful is forgetfulness. As we take things for granted, as all our needs are being met, as we feel self-sufficient, we forget the Source of all these benefits. It may be time for a reminder from God’s Word through the pen of the poet. David wrote:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me,
Bless His holy Name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And forget not all His benefits.”
David then lists just a few for starters—forgives iniquities; heals diseases; saves from destruction; crowns us with lovingkindness and mercy; satisfies with good things; renews our youth. The list goes on. Will you add to it?