I was awoken once more by the quiet but persistent whimpering coming from the chair in the far corner of the room. I looked up to see the time was a little after 4:00 am. Moments earlier I had been in a deep state of sleep so it took me a few seconds to open my eyes and rise from my bed.
After placing my feet into my bed slippers, I shuffled down the hall and turned the corner, walked past my desk, and headed into the dark pantry. An illumination from the electric doggy door provided just enough light to see the dog dishes. As I lifted the lid off the dog food, I could hear the smacking of lips from my two Frenchies.
Once, the dog food was in the dishes and the lid was back on the container, I headed into the kitchen and placed the food on the floor. Hardly seconds after the dishes hit their destination, the two pooches placed their heads down and began sucking up the morsels of food.
As I watched them, a thought resonated in my brain. Never, not once, had my dogs given me thanks for their food. No looking up into my eyes with gratitude or coming over to me and giving me acknowledgement for the food that sustains them. For years, I have forfeited a full night’s sleep to get up and feed them. But even with this sacrifice, I had received no sign of gratitude.
The scenario caused me to stop myself from being frustrated with my dogs when I thought about the times that I had dived right into a meal without giving God the thanks He deserved. How many times have I not even given God a thought when I began a meal? Too many to count.
As I was thinking about the importance God puts on gratitude I ran across a story in Luke 17. Jesus was traveling between Samaria and Galilee and ten lepers call from a distance for Him to heal them. Jesus tells them to present themselves in front of the priest. As they were going, they were all healed. But what happens next is both surprising and appalling. Let’s pick up the story in Luke 17:15. “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Did God need their gratitude? No. Then why did Jesus address the issue of the other nine and their lack of thanksgiving. Could it be that Jesus was more concerned with the condition of the nine lepers’ hearts then the skin sores that had covered their bodies?
In the same way, Jesus is greatly concerned about how grateful we are. If we are humble enough to lower our heads before our earthly meals and give thanks, we could be good candidates to receive a personal invitation to the heavenly feast that awaits for the children of God.
Carl and Bee will probably never show gratitude for the food they receive on a daily basis. But whenever Carl looks at me with those deep brown eyes, I know in his heart that he is thankful for my efforts.
4 thoughts on “A Feast for the Thankful”
I THANK the LORD for HIMSELF and for EVERYTHING He has done for me and for everything He has given to me in so many wonderful, amazing ways…..and I thank HIM for you and your writings, Cora. What a gift of love to write such meaningful messages! THANK YOU!! Love, Kathleen
Kathleen, you are so kind!! The longer I am away from our group and knowing that it will be changed, hurts my heart. I truly loved being with you this year. I am praying for your move to go smoothly.
I love the pictures of sweet Carl’s face. It’s easy for me to lose my gratitude when things are rough and I began to ask God why. Frankly, I also can’t remember the last time I gave thanks for eating. Thank you for the reminder about gratitude. – Terri
Terri, it saddens me that I am not more grateful to God for all his blessings. I have truly been convicted by my lack of gratitude. I hope that I will be moved by God’s grace and change my attitude and thus my behavior.