For many, Thanksgiving is about a “list.” With the song Count Your Many Blessings in hand, we go about inventorying our lives for what we own and put “I’m thankful for…” before that item.

In a wealthy society, we list things we enjoy that we’ve never had to live without. We thank God for color HD TVs, the internet, computers, cars, houses, ad infinitum.

But do we really “give thanks” with that kind of list?

  • Sit with people who live in a sheet tin hut put on bare earth and you find gratitude in a messy house.
  • Shed tears with a mother at the grave of her child. When you go home to the chaos of your kids, you discover gratitude.
  • Make a call to a friend who is about to have surgery for a cancer that will kill him. The simple aches of morning awakening provide the gratitude.
  • Watch a soldier coming home to children who have missed him for a year. Your 50-hour a week job becomes filled with gratitude.

Gratitude does not flow from what affluence allows us to have. Its seeds are planted in the fertile loam of God’s grace and love. The sprouts in our lives are things taht we neither deserve that, without God, we cannot have.

When you realize what little you can do and how much God has done, your list gets transformed into gratitude.

Let us give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.