Shallow Water Gratitude.
Too many of us are low-voiced and shallow-streamed in our gratitude. We are like the boy who had been swimming in a tiny pond, and who was taken for the first time to the ocean. His little bathing-suit was put on him so that he could wade.
But he looked aghast at the vast blue expanse, and shrank back.
"Why don't you take a dip?" urged his mother.
"Because," he said with a great deal of dignity, "I don't think this was made for little boys; it was made for big ships."
We have either got to get into deeper water with our expressions of gratitude or else admit that we don't know how to swim.
That saintly woman, the late Francis Ridley Havergal, used to say, "Once the will of God was a sigh; now it has become a song." When you get to that point, you are in the way of blessing.
To Whom Is Praise Due?
Did you ever know a potter to thank a vessel of his own making for its beauty and usefulness? Surely the praise is due, not to the clay, but to the potter. So praise is due to God for all the deliverances he has wrought for us.
A Great Giver.
A king who wished to express his affection for a private soldier of his army gave him a richly jeweled cup, his own cup. The soldier stepping forth to receive the gift exclaimed shamefacedly, "This is too great a gift for me to receive." "It is not too great for me to give," the king replied.
God is a great giver. Let us be great in giving thanks!
The Day the Sun Doesn't Shine.
In a small city of Arizona (Yuma) one of the hotels carries a strange sign over its veranda, "Free board every day the sun doesn't shine."
The new arrival with a light purse naturally makes for this stopping-place and looks skyward. Sometimes it is pouring in torrents and the traveler will then naturally register with quite a triumphant air, for he feels pretty sure that he is going to get something for nothing. But the proprietor does not worry. He has lived in this town for many years and he does not get excited in the least, for always during some part of the day the old sun appears, perhaps only for a few minutes. No one yet has ever been able to get a day 'sfree board at this hostelry, at least on account of the sun's not shining.
It has become too much the custom of our American people to think it is raining all the time. We forget the blessings we have.
Trumpet of Thanksgiving.
According to an old Jewish legend, Lucifer, son of the morning, after he had fallen from heaven, was asked what he most missed. His reply was, "I miss most of all the trumpets that are sounded in heaven each morning."
Is not this the one great lack in many lives today? There is needed more and more the clear trumpet note of joy and thanksgiving. Many persons are more ready to sing a dreary "Miserere" than a joyous song of hallel to God. We need less of the spirit of sadness and melancholy, and more of the abandonment of joy that thrilled in the heart of the Psalmist when he summoned God's people to "praise him with the sound of the trumpet," to "praise him upon the loud cymbals," to "praise him upon the high sounding cymbals" (Ps. 150:5).
We miss from many lives the sound of the morning trumpet. God must miss the hearing from many who ought to be glad the sound of the joy-trumpet of thanksgiving. At this Thanksgiving season let us blow the trumpet of thanksgiving— and then let us keep on blowing it as an every morning expression of our gratitude.
Cure for Depression.
A novelist has recalled a medieval legend of an angel being sent to Satan with the message that God meant to take from the devil all the temptations with which he had seduced mankind.
To this Satan resigned himself, because he was compelled to. But he begged of the angel that he should be left with just one—and that the least important. "Which?" asked the angel. "Depression," said Satan. The angel considered the request, found that depression cut but a slight figure as a sin, and went back to Heaven leaving it behind him. "Good!" laughed Satan, as the celestial vision faded out. "In this one gift I've secured all."
Depression is as paralyzing, deadly, and infectious as any epidemic. Blessed are the calm spirits that go on trusting in God. But even those who reason with their own misgivings, and sometimes scatter them, are on occasion tempted to yield, and a flood of melancholy is like a rush of water that has burst its bound. Over against depression we ought steadily to remember the marvelous goodness of our God.
At this Thanksgiving season let us take a new start in remembering God's mercies—in remembering His faithfulness, His grace, His goodness. That will prove a royal cure for depression (a sure method of defeating the Evil One).
God has a good ear for heart music. Jesus was very sensitive to this as shown by His question, "Were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine?" Where are the multitudes who should be praising God for His goodness today? Maybe like the thoughtless lepers, lacking reverence for gift and Giver alike, they are bringing the plague of poverty upon themselves again. There is duty and beauty in gratitude. "Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." He has a good ear for heart music.
If Christians praised God more the world would doubt Him less. But who of us doesn't forget? And thatforgetfulness is a sin. The Israelites entering Canaan were warned: "Beware that thou forget not." They were to remember gratefully the God of Might who had brought them in, and remembering they were to give Him both gratitude and obedience. Later the Psalmist urged: "Forget not all his benefits" (Ps. 103:2).
Thanksgiving Day Harpstrings
In one of the legends of the Talmud we are told of a stringed instrument that hung over David's bed in such position that when the midnight came the north wind blew through it; and then it sounded sweetly of itself. "And he arose at once and occupied himself with the law until the pillars of the dawn arose." Thus may God's goodness move upon our hearts. His mercies are like the sands of the seashore for multitude. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name!" At this thanksgiving season let us think and then thank.
Find ten pennies, shake them up in your hand, and pour them out in front of you. Did all ten come up "heads"?If not, try again ... and again ... until they do. (By the way, the average person will have to pour out those coins more than a thousand times before he can expect to produce all "heads" even once!)
Now think of those ten coins as ten prophecies concerning the Messiah. Would you consider it coincidence ... or convincing proof... if any one individual fulfilled all ten? How about if there were twenty? Or thirty ? Or fifty such prophecies?
Are you ready for a startling piece of news? Jesus Christ during His earthly life, fulfilled more than 300 specific prophecies concerning Messiah.
Are You Doing Your Best?
With a very concerned expression on her face, a little lady spoke in condescending tones to D. L. Moody immediately after he had brought a soul-stirring message. "Mr. Moody," she said gravely, "you made 30 grammatical errors in the speech you just gave." "You are so very kind," he responded, "I'm sure there were more. There's one thing about it: I did my best."
And then he bent over graciously and looking into her eyes searchingly he inquired, "My friend, ate you doingyour best?"
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