A devotional thought from Ken Easley for “Look and Live!”
When I was a kid, Mom insisted that I write a personal thank-you note every time I received a birthday present or Christmas gift from aunts, uncles, or grandparents. I complained regularly. Why weren’t verbal thank-you’s and hugs enough? Simply this: Mom was teaching me an attitude of gratitude. Mom is now in her 90s, and I often let her know I appreciate how I was raised—including her teaching me to express gratitude to others.
It seems that the moms of the Israelites in the wilderness forgot to pass on to their kids how to be grateful for every blessing. These moms and dads had received God’s richest gifts: liberation from slavery and unfailing divine guidance under Moses’ leadership. Yet the next generation could only complain: “Why have you led us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness?…We detest this wretched food!” (Num. 21:5, HCSB). God considered this ungratefulness such a sin that He severely punished His own people (21:6).
Sometimes God’s blessings are not what we expect; they may seem like “wretched food.” But in light of the salvation we have received through Christ, how can we not thank Him for every benefit we have received? From our first breath when we wake in the morning to the final thought we have before drifting off, God is the author of everything we receive. Since throughout eternity we’ll be expressing to Him unending thanks and praise, how can we not consider that this life is practice ground for an ongoing attitude of gratitude?
Pause and Reflect
• On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate your “attitude of gratitude” during the past week?
• Is there someone in your life to whom you should express thanks today?
• For what gift—perhaps a mixed blessing—do you need to express to God thanks right now?