I was elbow deep in the “berries”, what we’d affectionately referred to as the spidery, unending network of thorns with clusters of deceptively vibrant red berries. I was covered in sweat, sand and my muscles were aching after an hour of alternating shoveling and weeding. But, I was literally up to my elbows in thorns when my dad asks, “You want me to take over?” “No,” I reply, “I’m having fun.” You read what I typed before this, right? And as I rehashed the scenario afterwards, I realized that I was having fun and I was even thankful for the morning’s work I had nearly finished. Yeah, I’ll repeat that for myself, I was thankful.
Earlier that week I’d agreed to help my dad do some work around our beach house before rental season kicked into gear. Needless to say, my manager didn’t believe me when I told him that I was going down to the beach for the weekend, but it wasn’t going to be a vacation. That certainly wasn’t the hardest I’d ever worked, but there for sure was work that needed to be done and it took three men the better part of a weekend to do so.
Thankful for Thorns
As I was rehashing my answer, realizing I was thankful for the thorns, I was reminded of the parable of the sower. I thought of how the Loving Farmer has taken the thorny soil in my own heart and lovingly, intentionally removed the weeds and briars from my own heart. I was reminded how thankful I am for His love and care in this work, which as labor intensive as it was for me, must be exponentially more for those thorns deep in my heart. No, I’m not thankful for the thorns themselves, but I am for the opportunity they provided my Father to show me how much He loves and cares for me.
Thankful yet thankless
There are so many things we have to be thankful for, but if you’re anything like me, you take for granted. Look, I’ve even been taking something so awesome as a beach house for granted. And pulling thorns out of the front yard was the reminder I needed. I’m not exactly sure how I made that correlation, but that’s not the point. We’ve been given so much that we’re bound to forget. What matters isn’t so much the individual things we remember to give thanks for, but the knowledge that we’ve been given more than we have time to thank God for in an entire lifetime.
What do you have to be thankful for, friend, that you’ve been neglecting? For what have you ceased giving God His due praise? I challenge you and myself this week to find something new each day. Can’t think of something? Then praise Him for a new attribute about something old, but you can think of something. So, as you’re sitting around the patio, grilling, enjoying family, friends, let’s all be mind of how thankful we ought to be. Hey, maybe even let those people know you’re thankful for them. Who knows, it could be the beginning of the revolution in your world. Happy Memorial Day, friends!