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Learning to Be Thankful

“Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’

DSC02015e“Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.”John 6:8-11, NIV

Recently, our family watched the movie, Son of God, which dramatizes the story of Jesus’ life powerfully. I was especially touched when the movie got to this scene, labelled in my Bible, Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand. With hungry people crowding all around them, the disciples hold a basket toward Jesus to show Him the two tiny fish and the little bit of bread. As I looked at the contents of the basket, the disciples’ question suddenly seemed quite valid, though we, with the benefit of historical record, often consider it foolish: “How far will they go among so many?”

But Jesus simply bowed His head and prayed, “Thank You, Father.”

The question struck me in that moment, “What if we were thankful, too?”

Just last night, I was overwhelmed by my schedule for the rest of this year. I was praying, “Lord, how will I ever get it all done? What must I sacrifice? I want to finish it all and enjoy it as I do!” Then I remembered the movie . . . the Bible story . . . the historical record . . . the thought. I fell asleep praying, “Thank You, Father, for the time that I have. Help me to use it wisely. I’m trusting You to provide more than enough! I know You can. If You’re leading me to do all of these things, then I know You will.”

God prompted me to change my attitude from despair and worry to thankfulness and trust. This was a great relief!

Other times we might need to do this:

  • Lord, I don’t have the money . . .
  • Lord, I don’t have the energy . . .
  • Lord, I don’t have anyone to help me . . .
  • Lord, I don’t have the know-how for this task . . .

Whatever the need, we can train ourselves, with God’s help, to approach the problem with thanksgiving and trust. We thank God for what He has provided. We ask Him to help us use what we have carefully. We trust Him to provide the rest, enough, maybe more, maybe more than we could have imagined—according to His perfect will for our lives! Our lack is His opportunity to shine. Let’s be thankful for what He’s given, then let’s see what He will do on our behalf.

Father, please forgive us when we lose sight of what we have, focusing instead on what we lack. You love us, and You know exactly what we need. So we thank You for all You have given, and we entrust our problems to You. Help us to use Your gifts well and to trust You to provide anything else that we will need as we live for You. You are good. You are all powerful. We love You! Amen.

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Janet Benlien Reeves

Reader, Writer, Runner, Flower Hunter, Child of God, Prince Charming's Wife, Mom Prone to Cheer
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