ON SECOND THOUGHT
I HAVE A LOT FOR WHICH TO BE THANKFUL
JESUS CHRIST told the story of ten men suffering from the dread
disease of leprosy. All were instantly, miraculously healed. As they
ran away to share the good news, only one paused long enough to
say thanks. Only one of ten acknowledged gratitude for restored
health. Perhaps today that ratio would be one of one hundred.
To personalize the account consider whether your general attitude
as expressed over the last few months would cast you in the role of
the one who was thankful or with the ingrates.
Even in our greatest distress there is much for which to be thankful.
It is a matter of attitude. Seneca, the Roman emperor, wrote: "If
only I have the will to be grateful I am so. It is a matter of the will."
Gratitude is a gift precious in the sight of God. Thanks is a gift the
poorest can give and not be made poorer but richer by having
Our Pilgrim predecessors are a classic example of this. For some
reason we have come to believe that they gave thanks because
they were abundantly and obviously blessed. Not so. One of their
number wrote a description of conditions out of which came their
giving of thanks. He wrote they saw "...the grim and grisly face of
poverty coming upon them like an armed man with whom they must
buckle and encounter (that is, fight), and from whom they could not
Hear it well! They did not give thanks because things were good
but because they knew God was good.
It is true that attitudes are influenced by circumstances, but they
must not be allowed to be dictated by circumstances. We still have
the liberty of choosing our attitude regardless of circumstances.
The attitude of the Pilgrims did more to sustain them than
circumstances did to suppress them.
King David, in a difficult time, wrote his complaints with great
anguish: "Will the Lord ... never show His favor a ...
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