I called an ole friend who had been sick; immediately upon his answering, I asked him, “How are you doing?” He replied, “I’m above ground and limber!” meaning of course, he was still alive. There was thankfulness in his voice because whatever lingering pains he may have had, he was nonetheless glad to be alive. I liked his reply and have borrowed it.
Too often I have and most likely you too, looked upon our lingering problems or situation and gone into a mode of complaining. Instead of being thankful for what we have, we wanted to complain about what we did not have. When we focus on the negative and linger in that state, we can go into a deeper and darker hole. I am sure some folks have fallen in the crevasse of depression because they focused on the negative side of their situation instead of the plus side.
I don’t do it as diligently as I should, but there are many mornings after I awake and before my feet hit the floor, I just thank God for another day. I thank Him for the ability to walk, to work, to think, to speak, to go … I know some folks who cannot do some of those basic things or else they do them with great difficulty.
As I recovered from a health issue, one day I was a little down and then it dawned on me of friends for whom I regularly pray, who would love to be as healthy as me. I did not think those thoughts with any pride but more of a reprimand to my own self—be thankful for the health you have while praying for yourself and others.
In ministry and life, I have had situations where I assisted people. I didn’t expect or want any fanfare about it, but the folks seemed almost unappreciative and, in some cases, had an attitude as if it was not enough. In my mind, I was like, “Wow, just show a little thankfulness!” Then I thought about God; how many times He has blessed us, and we had the same stinking attitude. We grabbed the blessing and ran not pausing to say thank you or else walking away grumbling because our expectation was not completely met.
Thanksgiving Day is coming up. It is a great time of being with family and eating ourselves into a “up-size” of pants. So, let’s remind ourselves, it is “Thanksgiving” of all things! We need to be mindful to do what the day proclaims—Be Thankful! Pray about your problems but pause and thank God for what you have. I am sure there is someone out there, who would consider your situation an upgrade.
Harry L. Whitt