Give thanks in everything, - 1 Thessalonians 5:18a (HCSB)
Ever since Harold Peterson had manged to catch a live skunk, people had been avoiding him like he was the worst kind of plague. For some people, however, avoiding him was next to impossible since they lived with him. Martha, Harold's mom, was one of those people and in desperation she headed to church to talk to Randy Smith to see what he would think of her idea.
As Martha walked into Randy's office, Randy started sniffing the air. “You don't smell like skunk.” he finally said. “Does that mean everything is okay now?” “Not in the least.” Martha replied, “I don't smell like skunk because I found some strong perfume that somehow cancels out the skunk smell.”
“So,” Randy said as kicked back in his chair, “What have you been up to, and how can I help you?” “well,” Martha started to say as she sat down in the chair opposite Randy's, “I've been doing a lot of thinking.” “That's always good.” Randy told her, “So, what have you been thinking about?” “Thanksgiving.” Martha answered.
“Oh.” Randy said some what shocked, “I thought you would have been thinking Harold and getting rid of that skunk I heard he caught.” “Well,” Martha admitted, “I guess I have been think a little bit about Harold and the skunk he caught. Well, maybe a lot but I wasn't thinking of getting rid of the skunk.”
“You're not actually thinking of keeping it” Randy asked as his eye got as big as saucers. “Well,” Martha said, “Being that it's almost thanksgiving, I was thinking about giving God a gift.” When Randy heard that his eyes got even bigger and his mouth dropped open, “You’re not thinking of giving the skunk to God as a gift?”
“No” Martha told him and Randy gave a sigh of relief. “I was thinking of something else. I was reading in Exodus 22:29 where it says The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. And I was thinking, Harold's my first born son and....” “Stop right there.” Randy interrupted her. “You can’t give Harold away. He your own flesh and blood.”
“You mean his father’s flesh and blood.” Martha snapped back, “Besides, God's word says to give him to Him. Besides,” Martha continued, “I think I would rather have the skunk.” “And just how do you plan to give him to God.” Randy asked “That's easy.” Martha replied, “I’ll just, just, just. I don’t know. How do I give him to God?”
“Don’t ask me.” Randy told Martha, “Besides, would you like to have Harold given to you as a thank you gift?” “Harold as a thank you gift?” Martha snorted, “I thought he was a punishment. Oh well, so much for that idea.”
On that day David decreed for the first time that thanks be given to the Lord by Asaph and his relatives: Give thanks to the Lord; call on His name; proclaim His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him; sing praise to Him; tell about all His wonderful works!
1 Chronicles 16:7-9 (HCSB)
Imagine, a day set aside to give thanks. Does such a day really exist? Such a day is suppose to exit on the 4th Thursday of November in America but how much thanks is given, and how do we do it? Martha thought of giving a gift as a way of giving thanks, well maybe not exactly. If we want to know more about giving thanks we can look at those in the Bible who were thankful and took the time to give thanks.
David was a king who was thankful. He was the one who wrote the above verses from 1 Chronicles and we can find much of his thankfulness in his Psalms. The verse above were written just after the return of the Arc to Jerusalem. The following verses were written at various times.
- Psalm 106:1 - Hallelujah! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. (HCSB) – Here's a reason to give thanks – because God is good and His love endures.
- Psalm 107:1- Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. (HCSB) – The reason repeats.
- Psalm 108:3 - I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. (ESV) – Here's a way to give thanks – with singing, not in solitude but in the open.
- Psalm 111:1 - Praise the LORD!I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. (ESV) – Again we can give thanks in front of people and with our whole heart. We need to get into giving thanks.
Of course, we may not always think it easy to be thankful, to want to give thanks. Imagine being in Daniel's shoes.
Darius decided to appoint 120 satraps over the kingdom, stationed throughout the realm, and over them three administrators, including Daniel. These satraps would be accountable to them so that the king would not be defrauded. Daniel distinguished himself above the administrators and satraps because he had an extraordinary spirit, so the king planned to set him over the whole realm. The administrators and satraps, therefore, kept trying to find a charge against Daniel regarding the kingdom. But they could find no charge or corruption, for he was trustworthy, and no negligence or corruption was found in him. Then these men said, “We will never find any charge against this Daniel unless we find something against him concerning the law of his God.” So the administrators and satraps went together to the king and said to him, “May King Darius live forever. All the administrators of the kingdom, the prefects, satraps, advisers, and governors have agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an edict that for 30 days, anyone who petitions any god or man except you, the king, will be thrown into the lions’ den. Therefore, Your Majesty, establish the edict and sign the document so that, as a law of the Medes and Persians, it is irrevocable and cannot be changed.” So King Darius signed the document. When Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went into his house. The windows in its upper room opened toward Jerusalem, and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
Daniel 6:1-10 (HCSB)
His life is on the line and he takes to time to give thanks, would you? There is more to say on giving thanks but I think this is enough to absorb for now.
Here's Something To Ponder
- Are you giving thanks when you should be giving thanks?
- Is your thankfulness for real?