Understanding How To Be Thankful in a Thankless World!
(Ver 1.1) We are living in a day when many are not thankful for anything. Teaching children when they are young to be thankful is a difficult assignment which too many parents ignore. When I was a child being raised in the south, many parents taught their kids to have manners. They would say Yes ma’am, No ma’am, Yes sir, No sir, please and thank you and if they didn’t their parents would correct it swiftly. This seems to be a lost skillset in the world today. Not only do many children grow up without manners, they grow up without any regard to being thankful to the ones that even brought them into the world. I know not everyone had a rosy childhood and a great set of parents and that life is much tougher on the outside than it could be or should be. But, there is what appears to me to be an over emphasis for people on their current situations in life that ignores the fact that these are always a relative set of temporary circumstances. In other words ALL problems are always relative and they do not last forever. If you look arond you closely you can always find someone that is much worst off than you are. So many look at their temporary problems and are consumed by what they don’t have and miss out on being thankful for what they do have. I have learned one thing in life that is of most importance for me and my relationship to God and that is I need to stop worrying about what could happen or what I don’t have and only focus on what God has already done in my life and given to me and give Him thanks for that. This is the Thanksgiving season and this is my message today for you, begin to be thankful for something. Look for something to be thankful for and start with that.
So I usually do not get personal, because this blog is not about me. But, I am going to relate to you something that my family went through over 20 years ago. My wife and I were expecting our second child and it was a great time for us, we thought. Everything progressed in the normal way and when it was time to have the baby, we went to the hospital like we had done before. However, this night our world was going to be shaken and change dramatically.
Our new son was born and the doctors started checking him over and then started calling in specialists and things happened very fast from there. The doctors did tests and x-rays and determined my new son was born with a major heart defect and deformity. The heart surgeon did immediate open heart surgery to save my new son’s life while I called my mother to help me pray to God. My wife was in another hospital recovering and I went to the children’s hospital where the surgery was taking place. After several hours of wondering, what was happening, the doctor came out and told me that he was alive and that we were very lucky. I knew that my wife was going through a very tough time being alone without her new son in her arms in another hospital. But we were doing the best that we knew how to do at the time. We all made it home eventually and we lived the best that we could a couple of more years before he needed another heart operation. So we went to the hospital and went through the pain again and the outcome was good again. You see the hand of God was with me and my family when I did not even know it sometimes.
My son continued to grow and he turned 4 years old. All during this time we went to church and prayed and kept hoping for a miraculous outcome. We would strive to look for little victories whenever we could. A couple of weeks after his fourth birthday my son and I were getting ready to go to church like we always did. My wife had to be at choir early so she went on first ahead of us. My son and I stopped in at McDonald’s and had pancakes for breakfast and were about to head to church when all of a sudden he collapsed in my arms and his eyes rolled back in his head. I knew something was not right immediately and I yelled for someone to call an ambulance. I then waited until I could not wait any longer and put him in my car and drove him to the closest emergency room Hospital about a mile away. They started working on him as fast as they could and I could hear him scream as I filled out paper work for the hospital. They worked for over an hour and I tried to call the church to leave a message for my wife where we were, but she was on stage singing in the choir and the church services was on TV so they could not go and get her until she came off of the stage. My other son was away at a church camp retreat this weekend so God was watching over us in many ways that I cannot tell you. While my wife sang in the choir praising God, my son died at the hospital. We were probably 15 to 20 miles from the church. I cried very hard when the doctors told me the news. I sat outside on the curb of the hospital waiting and finally my wife drove up and I had to tell her that our son was with Jesus now.
I wish things could have been different, I wish things could have been better, but yet I was thankful for the four years that I had with my son. He taught me many things that I would have not known otherwise. There were times in the car when he sat in the back seat in his car seat praising God and raising his hands in praise. Oh, to have a son with the heart of a child that was thankful for what he had and was not missing what he didn’t have, that is what changed my life forever.
I will see my son again, so I know he is not gone forever. I will talk to him in eternity and we will run together and play like he never could on the earth. Now learn the lesson of a child’s heart today and become thankful for everything that you have even if that is only a very little. I believe that God honors a thankful heart and blesses them that give Him thanks. So if you would only concentrate on what you have and be thankful, I believe that God will bless you and cause you to have more eventually.
This is the season of Thanksgiving here in the U.S. I pray that you become highly focused on everything that truly matters in your life and less focused on the things that you do not have. Problems I believe are only temporary and they are always relative. No matter how bad you think you have it, you can always find someone who has less or a worse situation and you can do something to be a blessing to them in whatever way you can. Being a blessing is why I do what I do on this website. If you could see my heart right now you would understand my tears while I wrote this blog. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving wherever you are while you give thanks to God for all that He has already accomplished in your lives. God Bless!
Posted on November 25, 2010, in Bible Basics, Bible Study, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, Thanksgiving. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.
I am touched by the story of your son. May the Holy Spirit comfort you and your family. And may He give you strength to continue with your writings that are helping many…
What a moving story. I can’t wait for the next chapter of this story…. I will be there….. And we will all be praising God together for all eternity…. Wow. What a day that will be !
Thanks so much for you words of blessings, I appreciate them very much.
Agapegeek, thanks for taking the time to write what you do. And thank you for sharing this touching story.
I’m touched by your story and what you have gone through. As a mother, I do feel worried for my 2 teenage kids should anything happen to them. I read in newspapers of families who lost their loved ones and it is painful. Some are not able to accept the lost and went mad, some were able to accept it as fate, and some truly accept and know that God will take care of everything. What is most comforting is to know the one who had passed on is with Jesus. That alone is a great comfort, though one can still feel the lost on earth. And there will be a day when we shall see our loved ones again in Heaven. Those who are in the Lord. I read testimonies of people seeing little children in heaven, who left this world young in life, and they are so happy with Jesus! I read Richard Sigmund’s chapter on what he saw in heaven, esp. little children! There’s no pain when they fall, no danger at all, and they are always so happiness and laughter! Some are waiting for their parents to come to see them one day!
And that day will surely come !
God bless you and family.
Thank you for your words of encouragement! I appreciate them very much!
You are a good man, husband and father, God bless you and your family. Happy Thanksgiving.
Thanks for your kind words. I remember what Jesus said, Why call me good, there is none good but my Father in heaven (Mat 19:17). So if Jesus didn’t even call himself good I certainly cannot either. God Bless you though for your thoughts and prayers.