Have you remembered to be thankful today?

As I write this devotion we are fast approaching Thanksgiving. May it be a time for us to remember all that God has done for us.

Daily we have God’s presence in our lives, bringing us wholeness. Have you remembered to thank God for a good night’s sleep? For a day of blue sky and sunshine that gets you outside (perhaps for the opportunity to get the exercise of raking leaves)?

For a day of gray skies and drizzle that allows you to be inside; for the unexpected voice of a distant family member on the phone; for an email from a friend; for the comfort of God’s Word; for the gift of music; for uncontrollable laughter; for unreserved tears; for the greatest gift of all, God’s salvation won for us through Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death?

As people who have received so many things to be thankful for, we are called to pass this gift of wholeness and thanksgiving on to others. You might remember the story of the two men who shared a hospital room. Both seriously ill, they had to spend the day in bed. One had a bed next to a window, and he would describe for hours the scenes outside — a beautiful park with a lake, with ducks and swans and children feeding them; softball and football games; kites flying; flower and trees and fields of grass.

One day the man by the window died, and his roommate later asked to have the bed by the window. He was moved, propped up and he looked out the window. It was a blank brick wall.

The man who had died, who was such a good describer of the beauty outside the window, had not been telling lies. He knew what was beyond that wall. He knew that there were birds, beautiful parks and happy people. He lived a life full of thankfulness, and with it he transformed that hospital room into a place of God’s grace.

All of us have bad days, worries and troubles. But we know what lies on the other side of these “brick walls.” We have the promise of abundant life here on this earth and eternal life with God.

So we live our lives as people who have received so much. We are the man at the window, describing God’s grace and mercy, to people who can’t yet see it for themselves. We fall at Jesus’ feet in thankfulness, for all that God has done for us.

Will you try something these days before Thanksgiving? Surprise someone with God’s love and compassion. Be the person at the window, describing all the good things of God’s creation, and everything that God has done in your life.