Becoming Thankful

What motivates your thankfulness? I’m sure all of us can remember our parents reminding us to say thank-you when someone gave us a present or did us some favor. But a truly thankful heart is more of a lifestyle than simply responding when someone has done something nice for us. This is especially true of our thankfulness to God.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving I’ve been reading some of the Psalms that express thankfulness and I’ve discovered that being thankful is as much about worship in response to God revealing himself and his nature to us as it is gratefulness for the blessings we receive from him. And sometimes the circumstances that God reveals himself to us are not always pleasant. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a prisoner in Siberia came to know the reality of God in his life while incarcerated and as a result was able to write “Thank-you prison for being in my life.”
Most of us have never experienced anything that extreme, but all of us have had circumstances, and often people that God has used to shape us and shape his nature in us. For me one of the most significant developmental circumstances was getting fired and the man God used was Robert Plante.
Robert attended the church my dad pastored and was a key leader in it. He worked with his brother at a heating/cooling company and offered me a job shortly after I finished high school. It started well, but within six months my easy-going (read lazy) nature got the best of me and my performance at work began to slide.
There were a number of times that Robert tried to give me some words of wisdom, but one day in particular stands out. We were out on a job and I was supposed to be assisting him, but I was always waiting for him to tell me what to do. Finally he said to me “watch, and look for what needs to be done.” It sounds pretty obvious now but at that point I hadn’t figured it out.
Unfortunately it still took me getting fired before I began to get it, which must have been really hard for Robert. But I am so thankful he did. Not only did I learn a valuable life lesson, but ultimately a spiritual lesson about being attentive to God as well. I am genuinely thankful for being fired, but I can assure you at the time it was not pleasant.
So again, what causes you to be thankful?


About David Berg

I live in a small town in Alberta, Canada. I pastor a small Baptist church and also work half-time on a local seed farm. It has been more than 25 years that I have been married to a most amazing and beautiful lady whose name is Wendy. Together we have three boys, and two beautiful daughter-in-laws. View all posts by David Berg

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