A gift given to us, a surprise gift perhaps, is usually a surprise that awakens a feeling of thankfulness. We don’t call the store where it was bought to thank them for the gift, we thank the giver who thought enough of us to give.

Perhaps a quote from a very well known evangelist is apropos as this time in this brief column. It is a quote from a well known evangelist from the 19th century. Her name was Hannah Smith.

Hannah Smith was known as the “angel of the churches” both for her eloquence and for her appearance in her evangelistic addresses to huge gatherings throughout Britain. In 1875 she published The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, a guide to sanctification and complete surrender to divine will that was translated into several languages and sold some two million copies around the world.      

A quote from Hannah’s book:

“Thanksgiving or complaining – these words express two contrastive attitudes of the souls of God’s children in regard to His dealings with them; and they are more powerful than we are inclined to believe in furthering or frustrating His purposes of comfort and peace toward us. The soul that gives thanks can find comfort in everything; the soul that complains can find comfort in nothing.”                 

  Gator certainly has been a whiner and complainer for a great amount of his life. His excuses were many, most of them based on his choices that he thought were someone else’s to blame. Then Gator wondered why he had so few friends and felt a bit ‘off ‘ most of the time. The good things were just referred to as ‘good luck’. The coal in his stocking was someone’s mistake or merely ‘bad luck’ Gator was/is pretty dense and finally the repeated rescue of his life by the ‘good luck’ became clear there was someone looking out for him that was mysterious and unexplained. It took years for Gator to discover who that was. It was akin to finding he had suddenly died and the doctor that saved his life was standing at his bedside. Smiling and pleased the foolish Gator finally had opened up and realized what was reality.

Car accidents, angry people with guns and missiles, heroin addiction and many others. These are the ones Gator knows about. Thankfulness was bubbling up from a long forgotten and ignored artesian well within. The creator of everything that is and was and will be was that smiling doctor. The healer of Gator’s stone cold heart (which still continues as there is a vein of very hard rock deep down) The doctor, the first and last, Wellspring of our souls, Beautiful one. Many names is He known by and the names continue to be put forth in Gator’s speech and song. You know who it is.

There has never been a man more alive than Jesus and He deserves thanksgiving from us. It’s pretty good.

Jack Gator

2 thoughts on “Thanksgiving

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