Tuesday, February 5, 2013

                           THE BLESSINGS OF BEING GRATEFUL   
       I have been reminded of the need to be thankful several times recently.  Reasons for people's jealousy has been addressed, and brethren are always commenting on our need to be thankful.  But the last reminder came from a most unexpected place.  There I was at the Grayson County Detention Center getting ready for a study session.
     I was thankful first that eight inmates would be in attendance, though one was not able to come.  As the first few came into the room to get ready to start, we had a conversation about their lives and current events taking place around them.  Several in the group are members of the church which helps in talking about certain subjects.  Still you don't expect people in this environment to be thankful for anything.  Wrong again.
     As the conversation progressed the inmates began to talk about how to get more than what you currently possess.  The key is to be grateful for what you have.  Neither the ASV or KJV mention the word grateful, and the NASB speaks of gratitude.  Of course gratitude is being thankful, and you'll certainly find words associated with thankfulness sprinkled generously throughout Scripture.  It was a blessing to listen to the inmates.  Even here they spoke of blessings they received.
     As one remarked, if you want more time, be grateful or thankful for the time you have.  It must be noted he was not speaking of time in reference to his sentence but in being able to accomplish certain tasks or goals.  If you want more money, be thankful for the money you have.  The Lord can give you more of what you already have since He has given what you currently possess. Tell the Lord thank you.
     As an illustration another inmate spoke of something given to him by his father as a young boy.  He ran around and shouted to all who would listen, "Look what my father gave to me!"  So thankful to receive something that gift needed to be shared.  Our heavenly Father blesses us richly everyday, and we should be thankful He provides as He does.
     If you want more of something, first be thankful for what you have, not sorrowful for what you don't have.  Use your blessings to God's glory and allow Him to bless you even more.  While going with the thought of teaching others, I was taught another lesson myself.  If these people can find reason to be thankful, certainly I can too. 
     The joys of life can be found in the most unlikely places.  For that I am grateful.  Rodger

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