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Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good.
– Psalm 100:4,5 (paraphrase)
My stepmother drove the same way to work for many years, passing through the beautiful countryside on her way into city limits. One particular site always drew her attention. It was a large grassy area, along a stream, surrounded by trees. Each morning she looked, expecting to see deer grazing in this idyllic spot, but not once did she see deer. On the day of her retirement, being the last morning she would be able to look for deer on her way to work, she prayed to God, saying something like this: “Lord, I’ve been driving this way for years, always hoping to see deer. Please let me see a deer today!” Expectantly she looked down toward the grassy area, and sure enough, a deer was grazing, and it paused to look up at her as she drove by. She was so excited, and thankful to God for answering her prayer!
I think of her story every time we see deer. Despite living within the city limits of Charlotte, NC, we often see deer in our neighborhood and surrounding areas. In the mornings, we see them grazing on a hilltop, their shadowy figures as silhouettes against the pre-dawn sky. During the day, deer casually graze in wooded areas and yards, often right alongside the road; and at dusk, we quietly watch deer graze across the back of our lot or gracefully running along the open fairway.
There is something about deer that makes them a sight to behold. They are a blessing of God’s creation. However, until I heard my stepmother’s story, I didn’t realize how thankful I should be that I get to see them as often as I do. What seemed common for us, was a prayed-for blessing for her.
After seeing a young deer on our way to school this morning, I felt prompted to wonder what other blessings I overlook or take for granted. What common things in my life are prayed-for blessings for others, things for which I should give thanks? Many things came to mind. Praying Psalm 100 to give thanks to God:
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
LORD, thank You for continuing to bless me, even when I fail to recognize how blessed I am. Amen.
What does the Bible say about giving thanks? To find out, go to http://www.BibleGateway.com, enter keywords “thanksgiving” or “give thanks”.