This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118: 24
I was first introduced to Dietrich Bonhoeffer by a friend who suggested I read the challenging The Cost of Discipleship. Later that led me to one of the most stimulating biographies I’ve read in recent years – Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer: Pastor Martyr Pastor Spy.
If you haven’t read either book, you should. Bonhoeffer came to age in Germany during the years that preceded Hitler’s rise to power and as a consequence of his opposition to the Nazi regime, Bonhoeffer was imprisoned and was later martyred by hanging.
But during this time of turmoil for Germany and Europe, Bonhoeffer’s faith and commitment deepened. In Life Together, he made the following comment on the topic of failing to be thankful:
“Only he who gives thanks for little things receives the big things. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. We think we dare not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge, experience, and love that has been given to us, and that we must constantly be looking forward eagerly for the highest good.”
Bonhoeffer’s message is that when we are able to take note of the little things in our lives, then we are in a position to grow in our faith. We can be thankful for the little victories – jobs and families and health… and the list can grow.
So, as you think about this Thanksgiving Day in 2020, are you able to “give thanks for daily gifts?”