To Be Mainly Thankful
That’s what I want to be. It’s become my default response, at least internally, when I’m asked the generic “How are you?” I’m mainly thankful. And that’s a carefully crafted “mainly.” It doesn’t deny difficulties, or the fact that there are innumerable things in this world that I wish was different — not to mention the little and big changes I’d like to see in our church, and in me. Those things exist, but still, when it’s all said and done, mainly, I’m thankful.
So I want to live like I’m mainly thankful — like the other day when I was riding down the road with the kids, and Micah asked me how happy I would be if I was a millionaire.
I told him I already was, and that I was very happy.
He was a little confused, as I figured he would be, but then I said, “Buddy, I’ve got two arms, eight fingers, and two thumbs — do you think I’d sell them for a million dollars? Not a chance” (now I remember Pastor John doing this in a Table Talk about 11 years ago and it has stuck with me).
“Not a chance, son,” I told Micah. “I wouldn’t sell these arms and hands for ten million dollars, and if they’re worth that much to me then I guess that makes me a multi-millionaire.”
“And more than that,” I continued, “Do you have any idea how much you’re worth to me? You and your brothers and sisters, and your mom? … Son, I’m more than a zillionaire — so yeah, I’m very happy, and really, really thankful.”
And it’s a deep “thankful.” I’m thankful because it’s all been given, not earned. Given. Received. What do I have, in fact, that I did not receive? And if then I received it, how in the world could I boast as if I did not receive it? That breath — just then … right now … this heartbeat — are these wages? Is God paying me my dues right now? Is he yours? Answer the question aloud. Does God owe you these breaths and heartbeats and sunrises?
No, he doesn’t. Dear God, it’s grace! All grace. We are every bit surrounded by grace — miraculous grace. These gifts have been given by power. They’ve come by blood. We’re not just zillionaires, we’re also the brothers and sisters of Jesus — and he’s not ashamed to call us so. We’re co-heirs with him, which means we possess every spiritual blessing and one day we’re going to inherit the world, and we’re never ever going to be separated from God’s love, not even by death, not even if a zillion other things are stripped away from us. Which means we don’t just conquer, we more than conquer through him who loves us. Yes, we do. We do. God says so. And, well, I’m thankful. Aren’t you?