My brother was reporting on the activities of his grandsons and told of a happening in a recent Bible Class. The teacher asked the question, “Can you tell me some of the things for which we should be grateful?” One child said, “Our parents,” another said, “The rain.” Another responded, “Our food,” and one said, “Our homes.” When they came to my grand-nephew he, with some excitement, replied, “Gravity!” My brother and I chuckled over this. But later I began to think, “That’s a smart kid.” If it were not for gravity, this computer would be on the ceiling. But that’s O.K. because that’s where I would be too! Pictures of the astronaut’s body suspended in the middle of the space ship help us understand how vital gravity is to our daily living.
One of the troubles about being able to identify our blessings is that we aren’t aware of them until something terrible happens and they are taken away. A cliché states, “You don’t miss the water ‘til the well goes dry.” Many people in the U.S. used to get their water from their own well or cistern – and they had to pump it or draw it, and then carry it to the house. We are so blessed today that few know what a well is! To get water you turn a spigot. Clean water! You don’t have to strain out the water fleas. Pure water! You don’t have to treat it to keep from getting internal parasites or dysentery producing bacteria. A man from Guinea, West Africa, said, “You people in the U.S. don’t know what you’ve got. Could you help me go there? I would know how to appreciate it!”
One of the sins attributed to the pagans in Romans 1:21 is, “Because when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful.” They did not have the law given to the Israelites, but “the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen” and they failed to acknowledge and attribute to God their blessings.
Thankfulness was best expressed by David in the Psalms. One example: “Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works, which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to usward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” Psalms 40:5. In another Psalm David admonishes, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His Name.” Psalms 104:1. Again, “Blessed be the Lord: for He hath showed me His marvelous kindness in a strong city.” Psalms 31:21. “Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits.” Psalms 68:19.
A proper response to God’s blessings is implied in Psalms 116:12 when David asked, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” If we identify our blessings, surely more dedicated service to God will be the result. Ingratitude is not just an obnoxious character defect. It’s a sin!!