“Let’s be thankful for the fools,” wrote Mark Twain. “But for them, the rest of us couldn’t do it.”
Is there more to gratitude than this rather cynical point of view expressed by one of America’s most beloved comedians?
Yes, let’s say a group of children with some pretty remarkable ways of carrying out the apostle’s mandate to give thanks in everything.
âWhen I broke my jaw, I’m glad I didn’t die,â says Jordan, 9. âWhen my friend broke his leg, I’m glad he didn’t break three bones instead of two. When I busted my head, I’m glad I didn’t break my head.
Jordan, I hope you and your friends don’t break your health insurance company’s cash reserves.
Another Jordan, 8, found a way to be thankful for asthma: “I don’t have it all the time.” Jordan is also grateful for his sister. “She’s annoying, but I love her.”
Don’t wait for something spectacular to express your gratitude, says 8-year-old Dorothy: âThank you for being here today. I can thank you for being able to be there to help my mom when needed. Dorothy, I think your mother is grateful for your helpful spirit.
âYou can also thank God before you eat,â says Justin. âGive us this day our daily breadâ is a prayer Jesus taught his disciples.
Some children may find it difficult to give thanks for certain meals. However, 7-year-old Stephen says, âIf you have spinach or any food you don’t like, just think of all the people who would love to have that food.
Believe it or not, a third Jordan, 8, found reason to give thanks: âYou can give thanks for everything by looking at the best of everything, praying and singing its praises.
Stick to the three Ps of providence, prayer, and praise, and you will never let bitterness take root in your heart. An attitude of gratitude sees even adverse circumstances as part of God’s greatest plan for character development.
If you have trusted the Lord Jesus as your Savior, be thankful that the God who created this universe has accepted you into His glorious kingdom. Raise the shield of faith to quench the flaming arrows of ingratitude, doubt, and anger that can ruin the peace God has called you to.
Leah, 10, explains how providence and praise work together: âYou should be thankful in the good times that God has given you something good to praise. You should be thankful in bad times because he gave you a chance to trust him.
Praise is a form of thanksgiving, but how exactly do you praise? âWe can sing wherever we go and praise the Lord for what he has done,â says 8-year-old Rachel.
I have a friend in Ventura, CA who taught me how to rent. Senior having passed the retirement age, Fran Rigoli is no longer a young person, but he sings as such. Walking on the beach, having breakfast, or driving to the grocery store, it doesn’t matter. Fran sings his way through life. And why not him?
Point to Ponder: Give thanks in all things because God loves you unconditionally.
Scripture to remember: âHe who believes in me, as the scripture has said, from his heart will flow rivers of living water. But he spoke of the Spirit which those who believe in him would receive â(John 7: 38-39).
Question to consider: Can you think of an unfavorable situation that you can give thanks for?