In 1907, famed English writer Rudyard Kipling won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Not only was he the youngest recipient of the prize at that time, he was also the first English-language writer to receive it. At the height of Kipling’s earning power, he was paid ten shillings per word.
That exorbitant fee irked a couple of jealous Oxford students who didn’t think any man’s words could be worth that much. So, as a joke, they sent Kipling ten shillings in an envelope and asked him to give them one of his best words. By cable, Kipling sent them back the word: “Thanks.”
“Thanks.” I guess that’s a good word for any day, any age, any situation, isn’t it? No matter who you are, where you are, or what you are doing, if you can find something for which you can be thankful, you are indeed blessed. I heard about a man who was in desperate straits financially. On Thanksgiving Day he vented to his friend, “What have I got to be thankful for? I can’t even pay my bills!” To that his friend replied, “Then I guess you can be thankful that you are not one of your creditors.”
Today, on this day after Thanksgiving, be sure to find things for which you are thankful. If you have a refrigerator full of leftover food, be thankful that you have plenty to eat. The lines for food pantries and soup kitchens are long today. If you go Christmas shopping, be thankful that you have enough money to buy gifts. Some people will lose their homes, have their cars repossessed, or get laid off this Christmastime. If you spend the day putting up a Christmas tree or decorating your home, be thankful that you have the health and strength to do so. The hospital beds and nursing home beds are pretty much always full. For that matter, if you even have a home, be thankful for it. When the nights turn bitterly cold this time of year, the homeless shelters start running out of cots.
But if you still can’t find anything to make you say, “Thanks” then consider Jesus. He was God in the flesh, come down from heaven, born to a virgin to live a sinless life and then die as the substitionary sacrifice for the sins of the human race. He died on the cross as the payment for your sins, my sins, and everybody else’s sins, and then He arose from the dead and ascended back to heaven, from which He right now offers salvation to anyone and everyone who will believe in Him as Savior. That includes me, and it also includes you.
What am I saying? I’m saying that if you can’t find anything else for which to be thankful today, you should at least be thankful that God in the flesh loved you enough to die for you so that you might have the option of having all your sins forgiven and spending eternity with Him in perfect bliss rather than separated from Him in a lake of fire. Friend, that’s an item that ought to eternally rank in the top slot of the list of things that make you say, “Thanks.” You see, if you have truly placed your belief in Jesus as Savior, then you saying, “Thanks” to Him for what He has done for you is worth infinitely more than ten shillings.