15 NOV 2017
It is said that those who are blind lose their appetite. Not being able to see their food diminishes their desire to eat it. I think I am the same way at times. I can too easily lose sight of my blessings and once I lose sight of them, I am far less likely to partake in, enjoy or appreciate them.
In this beautiful season of Thanksgiving, I want to open my eyes to the things I have missed or begun to take for granted. I’ve found the greatest way to do this is to just start speaking my gratitude to the Lord. As I do, I find my gratitude multiplying and the scales falling from my eyes. We have so much to be thankful for. So much.
Truly, every single person has something to be grateful for. Often the only difference between a person who is unhappy and one who is happy is their realization of and gratitude for their blessings. It depends on where your focus lies.
I am reminded of Robert Louis Stevenson, the lighthearted author of several classic children’s books. Few knew the extent of his chronic illnesses from childhood until his early death at 44. Yet he knew a truth, “The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.” Thus he maintained a heart of gratitude.
Or we could consider author, Jan Struther. She claimed to be a woman doubly blessed because she was not only happy, but she knew it. What a blessing to recognize that you are blessed!
Four times this week I’ve heard four different people refer to the same account in 2 Chronicles 20. This is the account of King Jehoshaphat and how the nations of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir came against the southern kingdom of Judah. King Jehoshaphat and all the people of Judah sought the Lord and the Lord told them, “'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's… You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you'" (2 Chronicles 20:15,17).
And exactly how were the people of Judah to conquer this foe? Through thanksgiving! They went to the battlefield singing, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever" (2 Chronicles 20:21). Through thanksgiving they were able to cause such confusion to the enemy that the impending battle never even took place. Their only task became to plunder the defeated armies! Not that’s an exciting result of thanksgiving!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6