As we start November, MTM puts up some butcher paper with blue tape in the hallway going to the cafeteria to write what we are thankful for.
Anybody can write what they’re thankful for, but most people that write on the gratitude wall are our guests. It is a moving experience every year to read the handwritten responses.
“I am thankful for God giving me and my family a chance to live here,” wrote one guest last year. Another one said, “I’m thankful for having a roof over my family’s head. And I’m thankful for food.”
Can you remember a time when you’ve said thank you to God for a roof? Or is that something you take for granted?
As we consider the importance of gratitude, we have been reflecting on the Book of Philippians.
Paul wrote this book from jail. Why was he in jail? He was in jail for spreading the good news of Jesus and for doing what God called him to do. And yet he writes these words: “Be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The story of Job is another passage from scripture that speaks to gratitude no matter the circumstances. At the beginning of the story, Job had everything: he was wealthy and had a lot of sons and daughters, animals, and houses. Then Job lost everything and all his worldly possessions were destroyed in an instant. Yet he rejoiced and blessed God with thanksgiving.
What if we took a couple of minutes to thank God every day? What if on our worst days, we still said, God, this day is awful, but thank you? Thank you that I have clothes to wear. Thank you that I have food to eat. Thank you that I have a roof over my head.
What if we can tell each other a month from now about even during our worst trials, how God was faithful, and He gave us a peace that passes all our understanding?
This Thanksgiving season, will you join us in a journey of intentional gratitude? It’s our prayer that God will use this time to do some powerful things in our hearts and lives.