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Thankfulness

Eating Tasteless Food

My father had to undergo radiation treatments for throat cancer. The therapy damaged his taste buds so that he couldn’t taste food. His inability to enjoy a meal made eating a dreaded duty. The doctors told him his taste might return after the treatments were finished, but no one could say for certain.

Weeks passed, then months. Every meal became a forced feeding to keep him alive. After eating flavorless food for over a year, he sat down for dinner one evening. Reluctantly, he forced the fork inside his mouth and discovered that his taste had returned. What most people would call a bland dinner became the best meal he had eaten in his life.

Through losing his taste and then regaining it, my father learned to relish each morsel as never before. He became thankful for the ability to taste because he now had a reference point. He would never forget what it was like to eat tasteless food.

            You don’t have to lose something in order to be thankful. You can develop a “taste” for your blessings by simply realizing what life would be like without them.

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 164) 



A Reference Point for Thankfulness

I know a man who has always been thankful for his shoes. When I asked him why, he replied, "When I was a boy during the Depression, my parents couldn’t afford to buy new shoes for me. I put cardboard in my shoe bottoms whenever they got holes. When I walked through rain and snow, I had to keep replacing the cardboard. I’ve always been thankful for shoes because I've never forgotten wearing those shoes with holes in the soles.”

His reference point for thankfulness was his childhood memory of worn-out shoes. If we will think of times when we did without, we’ll become thankful for what we have. That’s why God told the children of Israel to remember how He brought them out of the house of slavery (Deut. 8:14). He wanted that experience to be a reference point in their minds for thankfulness.

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 163) 



The Value of a Diamond

One afternoon my wife Cindy called me from the bank where she worked. “The diamond fell out of my wedding ring!” she sobbed. “It broke loose from the ring prongs and I don’t know where it is!”

            My mind flashed back two decades, while as a poor seminary student surviving on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cheap buffets, I saved $750 to purchase the most beautiful diamond ring in the world for my future wife.

            Diamond appraisers wouldn’t describe it that way, of course. Less than half a karat. Small carbon flaw. However, the true worth of a diamond isn’t determined by karats and clarity, but by the love with which it’s purchased.

           The chances of finding it were slim to none. We had no earthly idea where it could be hiding. Cindy could have lost it in our house while getting ready for work, at the restaurant where she had gone for lunch, or somewhere in the bank.

Lord, I prayed, You know where Cindy lost her diamond. Please show me where it is.

Immediately I felt prompted to go to the bank parking lot to begin my search. When I arrived, the first place I looked was inside my wife’s minivan. Nothing in there. When I turned around to scan the lot, I saw something glisten. Tiny rocks and small chunks of gravel covered the parking lot. As I drew closer to investigate, my heart leaped when I discovered Cindy’s diamond lying in a crack in the pavement. I snatched up the diamond and ran into the bank lobby holding it high for everyone to see.

“Look—I found it!" I yelled.

Bank customers turned around to find out why I was causing such a commotion. Cindy looked up from behind her teller window, burst into tears, and came running through the lobby into my arms. As we hugged in the middle of the bank in front of the customers, we looked like the final scene of a romantic movie.

Although we hadn't noticed the diamond that morning, it became the center of our attention that evening. We called our friends and relatives to tell them how our lost diamond had been found and then went out to dinner to celebrate.

            Our lost diamond incident bore an uncanny resemblance to the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15:8-9). The woman in the parable lost a silver coin, searched diligently, and found it. She was so excited that she called all her friends and neighbors to share her joy. After finding the lost jewel, Cindy and I had unwittingly followed the same script as the woman in the parable.

Had the value of the diamond changed? No.

What had changed? Our perception of its value.

I learned one of the great secrets of thankfulness through this adventure. The value of something isn’t determined by how much it appreciates, but by how much it is appreciated.

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 157-159) 

 



Far More Blessings

God has given us far more blessings than we’ve ever thanked Him for.

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 166-167) 



The Attitude of Gratitude

The attitude of gratitude is important for several reasons:

§         Thankfulness acknowledges that God is our provider.

§         Thankfulness prevents a complaining spirit.

§         Thankfulness creates a positive outlook on life

§         Thankfulness invites joy to dwell in our hearts.

(Kent Crockett, Making Today Count for Eternity, Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2001, pp. 161)


We Can Thank God More Than Once

Little Jenny sat down to eat dinner with her family. She looked at the leftovers and said, “Hey, wait a minute. We thanked God for this last night!”

Just because we’ve thanked God once for something doesn’t mean we can’t thank Him again.

(Kent Crockett, I Once Was Blind But Now I Squint, Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2004, 169) 



Cross Reference:

Getting Used to Blessings

The Pessimist Who Found Money

Our Thoughts Affect Our Immune System


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