Give thanks with a grateful heart

Published 1:03 pm Wednesday, November 24, 2021

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As is the case with many churches on the week of Thanksgiving, our message was built around the great Psalm 100. The Shepherd King David begins his song of thanksgiving with “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” That’s the verse used by people who love to sing, but have trouble keeping the tune.

They remind us that God didn’t say “Sing wonderfully,” but made allowances for them to simply “Make a joyful noise.”

When I think of that verse, I remember when I was singing at a nursing home in Camilla, Georgia. I was enjoying myself and doing my best. At the same time, there was a lady in the back of the room who was making a joyful noise, if you know what I mean.

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She was relentless in her noise-making, but it wasn’t my first rodeo and I kept singing and playing to the best of my ability. When it was all over, I went around the room, shaking their hands and speaking to them about how much I had enjoyed being with them. I even thanked the woman who had been my main competition.

I got in my car and, as I was leaving, I said to the Lord, “There I was, doing my best and why would You let that woman mess me up?

God was quick to answer. “Lynn, you were right where I wanted you to be. Thank you, but don’t think that I didn’t enjoy her ‘joyful noise’ just as much as I enjoyed yours!” I’m thankful for God’s humor.

Psalm 100 is short, but powerful as we think about this week of Thanksgiving. At the end of verse 4, we read, “Be thankful unto Him.” Why? That’s easy. “For the Lord is good.”

As I read the beginning of verse 5, I realized that I’m truly thankful that “The Lord is good.” That may seem simple and could be filed in the “It goes without saying” file drawer, but not so fast. Let’s not take for granted that our God is good. Let’s be thankful that God is good!

He doesn’t have to be. God can be any way He wants to be. God could get mad with us when we do wrong and, how many of us do wrong? Every one of us. I’m sure God is disappointed when we don’t live up to His plans for us, but He never gives up on us. Instead, God is always working for our good! I’m thankful for that even though it’s hard to understand.

I’m thankful that I was raised in a home where God was a major part. My parents didn’t just take me to church and drop me off. They were active in the small, country church and it was important to them.

I’m thankful that I grew up in a time when all the gadgets that we depend on now were not even around. In fact, I could not have imagined them. I’m thankful that I lived on a farm and spent most of the day outside, either working or playing.

I’m thankful that I learned to work from an early age. There were always hogs to feed and crops to maintain. There might not have been too much appreciation of the work, but, nowadays, as I see so many people who don’t know how to work, I’m thankful.

Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away, but, being thankful for a good and healthy life should not be relegated to just one day a year. It should be an “everyday” thing.

Finally, I’m thankful for everyone who comes up to me and says, “I read your column.” You don’t have to, but I’m thankful that you do. Happy Thanksgiving to all!