There are times when “Thank You” just doesn’t seem like quite enough to say. Times when the gift received really demands more. Today I’ve got a question that will make you think about thankfulness.

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Every language in the world has a simple word or phrase to express the feeling of gratefulness for an act of kindness. In English we say “Thank You.” In French, it is “Merci.” In Hebrew, “Toda.” Usually only one or two words, I think it may be a subtle nudge to say them often.

I love to say “Thank You” and express my gratefulness. I make it a point to say it when a server at a restaurant is re-filling my coffee or delivering my order. (As an aside, one of the things I notice in dealing with others is how they treat wait staff. Do they give orders and say “Bring me the ham and cheese omelet with home fries” or do they treat them with respect and say “Could I please have the turkey sandwich?” It reveals a lot about a person!!)

I believe that saying “Thank You” well is an important skill. So I am deliberate about sending a text, an email or even a hand-written note to folks when I am grateful for something they’ve done. Some people say that it’s the little things that count; but if they have such a significant impact, are they really only “little things?” Let me encourage you to develop an attitude of gratitude. If you look for the things you can be thankful for, you’ll get very good at finding them.

I was told a story about a king who went hunting game with his friend. As the king shot the arrow, the bowstring sliced off his thumb in a freak accident. As the king’s attendants bound up the wound, his friend said, “Praise God because He’s in control.” The king was furious and threw his friend in jail. Some time later, the king was hunting again and ventured into a distant land where he’d never been before. Suddenly he was surrounded by cannibals. They tied him up and were ready to cook him when they saw the hand with no thumb. “No perfect, no cook,” said the chief, and they let him go. He went back to his friend and apologised. “You were right. Not having a thumb saved my life.” His friend said, “Praise God that I have been in prison for so long.” “How can you praise God?” “If I hadn’t been in prison, I would have been hunting with you. And look: two thumbs.”

When I stop and think of ALL that my Heavenly Father has done for me, given to me, provided for me, opened to me and blessed me with — even over the past few weeks — “Thank You” just doesn’t seem to be enough.

I had it in mind as I sat down this morning to write a personal thank you note to God, like I’ve done with so many folk, and just invite you to read along (hoping that it might offer some form of encouragement). But I’ve thought better of it. The list of things would go on and on. Each item would be of great significance to me, but quite naturally much, much less to you. It would devolve to something akin to a person at an awards ceremony saying, “And I want to thank Tom, and also thank Dick, and must mention Harry.” It loses something in the listing.

Instead, can I invite YOU to stop for a moment. Grab a cup of coffee, or a glass of water, or some other something, and take whatever time you need to recall the people and things for which you’re grateful. What things has God done in your life that make you want to say “Thanks?”

Please don’t just skim over that last paragraph. It’s not a rhetorical question. It truly is worth much more than the time to recall and consider.

Perhaps re-phrasing the question might help you re-consider my point. So I’ll close with one final question designed to bring the actual gratefulness in your heart into sharp focus. It’s a question designed to help you do what today’s verse instructs us to do — I WILL GIVE THANKS TO YOU, LORD, WITH ALL MY HEART.

So, here’s the question:

If you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday …..
How much would you have?

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