Let’s say that a father takes his child to McDonalds for french-fries. Once they have their order and are seated at a table, the father tests the child by asking, “Do you love me more than you love these french-fries?” The child has to think for a moment but finally answers, “Yes.” Do you know why that was the right answer? It’s because it’s better to love the source of the blessing than the blessing itself.
If that father had much money in his wallet, he could buy fries for all the people in the restaurant. But the fact that he only bought fries for his child showed that he loved that child and wanted to have an intimate time of fellowship with that child. You see, the real gift to the child was the father, not the fries.
I raised two wonderful boys, and I always enjoyed filling their lives with pleasing things such as food, clothing, comfortable beds, balls, bats, gloves, toys, televisions, and PlayStation systems. However, every time they received a gift from me, they should have appreciated me more than the gift. After all, stuff gets manufactured and purchased every day, but there is only one me. Ryan and Royce don’t have another earthly father. I’m it. That makes me infinitely more important than anything I could ever buy them.
This Thanksgiving spend some time thanking God for His person. Don’t just be thankful for the blessings He has bestowed upon you, blessings such as family, friends, health, peace of mind, home, money, possessions, etc. That’s just the child thanking the father for the french-fries. Be sure to thank God even more for simply being who He is.
Think about this: If all you can do is thank God for the blessings that He sends your way, what will you do if those blessings get taken away? As you might recall, that actually happened to Job. Chapters 1 and 2 of his book describe how he lost his wealth, his children, and his health. In the aftermath of all that, over the events of the rest of the book, Job learned to thank God merely for being who He is.
That’s a lesson that a lot of us still need to learn. I mean, seriously, could we offer up any heartfelt thanks if we lost the blessings that Job lost? Let’s all ponder that question this Thanksgiving. And as we answer the question, hopefully the thanks we offer to God will be more mature and insightful than any we’ve ever offered.