The Wisdom Of Thanksgiving
Today’s lesson comes from “1st Thessalonians 5:16-18” which says “Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
Today’s thought is “The Wisdom In Thanksgiving”
A story is told about a happy and cheerful little man who once captured a bird and placed it in a cage. “Give me my freedom sir!” cried the bird as he shut the door. Startled that the bird was talking to him, the man listened as it continued. “I am no use to you sir, for I have no beautiful feathers to look at, nor am I able to sing beautiful songs, and I am to small to eat. If however, you promise to grant me my freedom I will tell you three wise teachings.”
The man agreed, whereupon the little bird told him: “First: Do not grieve over things that have already happened. Second: Do not wish for that which cannot be achieved. Third: Do not believe in that which cannot be possible.”
“Indeed, these are wise things you have taught me” said the man. As agreed, he opened the door of the cage and set the little bird free. The man sat and pondered the bird’s sayings, and the bird flew up to a branch high up in a tree. After a few moments the man heard the bird laughing. “Why do you laugh?” he called.
“Because I so easily won my freedom” replied the bird. “You humans pride yourselves on being the wisest of the creatures, yet I a tiny bird, have outwitted you. Within my belly lies a diamond the size of a hen’s egg. If you had not let me go you would be a wealthy man.”
Upon hearing this news our once happy and cheerful man became angry, sad and depressed. And the more the little bird laughed the angrier, sadder and more depressed the man became.
After some time the man started hurling abuse at the laughing bird as he attempted to recapture it. But to no avail. The little bird was always beyond his reach. Finally the little bird called out. “Listen to me O human. When you granted me freedom I gave you three teachings, yet you almost instantly forgot them. You should not grieve over things that have already happened, but still you are grieving that you gave me my freedom. You should not wish for things that you cannot obtain, and yet you want me, for whom freedom is my whole life, to voluntarily enter a prison. You should not believe that which is impossible, and yet you believe that I am carrying about inside my body a diamond as large as a hen’s egg, although I myself am only half the size of a hen’s egg.”
And with that the little bird flew away.
Isn’t it interesting how our feeling can change based on what we believe our circumstance is?
This little bird taught 3 simple but powerful lessons on wisdom, and the Apostle, in the text, has done the same for us. He said, 1. Rejoice in your faith knowing that Christ has died to make you free; 2. be persistent in prayer, knowing that God not only hears, but will grant your petitions according to His will; 3. in any situation you find yourself, be thankful, because this is God’s will for your life.
Now when you think about being thankful in all things, that can seem a hard task, especially in difficult times – and like the man in the story, it is easy to turn from happy to sad, based on the circumstances. But the wisdom in thanksgiving that Paul shares is that the believer is to keep their faith looking up to God in all things, and in doing this, as the Bible says, God’s promise is that all thing, no matter how they look, will somehow work out for our good, because of our love for God.
There is much wisdom in thanksgiving…