Do you ever ask yourself this question?
I do. I did, just yesterday, as I was driving to pick up my grandchildren from the bus stop. I was in full-on pity party mode which, fortunately, passed quickly once in the comforting presence of my grandson and granddaughter.
This morning, in the bathroom, I asked myself the same question. However, this time my blessings had overwhelmingly grabbed my heart and I was feeling profoundly grateful.
There is no answer to that question in either context except possibly, “why not me?”
This may have been what Paul was talking about in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 where he says:
In everything give thanks, for this is what God wants from you who are united with the Messiah Yeshua.
Jeffrey, 40ish—a homeless man and food pantry regular, has the most cheerful disposition. Being around him is like watching birds bathe in a bird bath or puddle of water. There is just something so whimsical and joyful about the way birds splash, shake and flutter as they clean their feathers.
Abused, abandoned—he has experienced his share of physical, mental and emotional health issues and near-death experiences which he freely shares with anyone willing to listen. Yet this man inhabits gratitude and thankfulness as playfully as birds immersed in bathing.
Freely occupying a space of awakened Trust, this beautiful soul does not feel sorry for himself and graciously praises God with every breath.
I hear your doubts, “it’s just an act to get you to feel sorry for him;” “he’s in denial,” or “he’s just crazy.”
No. While driving around town, unbeknownst to him, I have seen him walking and there is a spring in his step and a genuine expression of peace and contentment on his face.
Is he a sunny side optimist? I do not think so. My impression is that he makes the choice to be thankful in all his life’s circumstances and only he knows how difficult that decision is from one moment to the next.
“In everything give thanks . . . “
Simple, to the point . . .
. . . thank you, Jeffrey—your example is what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.