Rejoice and Be Thankful!
For years, the same four men had played golf together every Saturday during the spring, summer, and fall. They used to play some during the winter months too, but the cold wind had gotten to be too much for them as they grew older. And so it had become their routine to begin the new “season” every year on the first Saturday of April at the same country club they had helped establish forty years ago.
After waiting through the long winter months, all four men were ready to be swinging their clubs again. You could see the anticipation in their eyes and hear the excitement in their voices as they enjoyed coffee together before the first round of the new season. Their tee time arrived, and they were on their feet, thrilled to be on such familiar and friendly ground.
Each man enjoyed a spectacular opening drive, hitting the ball with the same confidence he had forty years ago. But by the fifth hole, the excitement waned…
“I’m telling you, these hills get steeper every year,” one of the golfers complained as they made their way up to the fifth green.
After a disappointing shot on the sixth tee, the second man remarked, “These fairways are getting longer all the time, too.”
While preparing to hit his ball from a bunker on the seventh hole, the third golfer observed, “These sand traps keep growing, too.”
The fourth man, the oldest in the foursome, had heard all the griping he could stand. He sat his clubs down and said, “Gentlemen, just be thankful we are still on this side of the grass!”
Yes, we must all admit that there are times when we find it difficult to be thankful, to rejoice in the blessings we have. But isn’t that what we are told to do anyway? “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice! . . . Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4.4,6).
Let us never forget that we have been blessed beyond measure in Jesus Christ. We are sinners, worthy only of eternal destruction from the presence of God, but God gave His Son as a sacrifice for our sins (John 3.16). So, whether we have abundance or lack in earthly things, we have blessed beyond what we deserve.
Let us resolve today demonstrate our gratitude in thanksgiving and in humble service to our God.