On this Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to share a devotion from my book Devotions for Dog Lovers: Paws-ing for Time with God. May you and your family and friends, including your four-footeds, enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving!
Thankful for the Little Things
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name! Psalm 100:4
Willie dashes through the shrubbery and rocks, pursuing a bunny along the wooded trail. A dachshund, Willie is just doing what his ancestors did: chasing and in some cases capturing the rats and other intruders on the farm. Willie's family, my friends, know this behavior is normal for his breed. They live in a big city, so they take
Willie and their other doxie on runs through wooded park areas each weekend, allowing their dogs the opportunity to be... dogs! Willie and his canine companion weave through grasses and brush, zip along dirt trails, and sprint across rocky inclines, doing their doxie doggie dash as they search for rabbits and sniff for songbirds. And, each family member gets exercise in the process!
Willie knows these outings are special, and after a bunny chase or a short run through the woodland, he returns to his human family, looks up and wags his tail, as if thanking them for the opportunity to get outdoors, run, play, pursue, and be... himself! After a “good boy, Willie!” the little short-legged doxie dashes off again, sniffing and running like the dog he's meant to be.
After the outing and back in the car, Willie lays his cheek against his people's cheeks, once again as if saying “thank you.” It doesn't take much to make Willie happy, nor most other dogs for that matter: a warm shelter, a loving family, playtime, good food – all things we humans sometimes take for granted, but yet, many people around the world do not have. How thankful are we for our small yet important blessings?
If you have a house or apartment (a warm, dry place to live and sleep), a car in your driveway, and clean clothes in your closet, you have more material goods than many people in the world. If you make more than $10 a day, you have more money than nearly 80% of the people in the world. If you have food on your table and in your fridge, you're already eating better than almost one billion people in the world. If you can turn on the tap and get clean drinking water, you have more than nearly two billion people in the world. (Note: all statistics based on organizations including World Hunger Education Service and the United Nations.)
How thankful are we for these blessings? Do we, like Willie, run back to our Master and thank him? Or do we go through life taking things like food, clothing, and water for granted, grumbling about what we don't have and constantly asking for more? Let's be thankful, even for the small things!
“Father God, thank you for the multitude of blessings you bestow. Thank you for those things I take for granted: food, clothing, water, family, friends. Forgive me for my ungrateful heart and help me to remember that all good gifts come from you, even those that are small and seem insignificant. Help me to no longer take any good thing for granted. In Jesus' Name – Amen.”