Be Thankful

God our Father in heaven told the Jewish people he didn’t want their sacrifices of bulls and goats. In Psalm 50 v 14 and v 23 I read,

What I want instead is your true thanks to God.
But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.

It is good to thank God and thank others.

I was speaking to an elderly man of over eighty years. He told me as well as being thankful he tries to make someone happy every day.

When one is thankful he is like a flourishing tree. Letting thankful words come out of his mouth cause his sap to come up within him; like a bubbling brook that overflows. Others want to be around him. When one is bitter and complaining he becomes like a withered tree. Others shun him. There is no life flowing out.
I think of the words of Jesus again from Matthew 13 v 12.

Whoever has will be given more, and he will have abundance. Whoever does not have even what he has will be taken from him.

There is a chorus that goes,

“Count your blessings name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

Try it. Don’t focus on what one doesn’t have but be thankful for all what one does have.
You will feel better. The gloom will lift when you start to be thankful. Practise being thankful.

We are privileged people living in the Europe. We have good education, health services, travel and many other benefits. We often forget to give thanks and take these blessings for granted. Young people have so many choices in their lives that it is easy for them to want more instead of stopping to be thankful and enjoy what one has.

One’s husband, ones wife, ones friend, a mother or father, professor or teacher will brighten up when he is thanked or receives a greeting card.

God is the giver of all good things. He is a good, good Father. Thank him.

A Scene That Brought Back Childhood Memories.

My husband and I were out for a drive one evening.
There were road works on the main road into town so we took another route.
We came upon a farmer bringing his cows in from the field to be milked.
It was just as well we were not in a hurry.
The docile creatures with full udders ambled back to the farm yard.
I thought of the scripture, 

“The Ox knows its master.”  Isaiah 1 v 3

The farmer opens the gate and the cattle lift their heads and turn for home.
We drove behind the farmer patiently.

image
I said to my husband “This reminds me of my childhood.”
I grew up in Co Down.  My father was a dairy farmer too.
I remembered my sisters and I bringing the cattle back from the meadow in the summer evenings.
The cows would swish the flies away with their tails.
We had a pet cow that let us have a lift on her back home.
Cattle grazing in the meadow beside a stream, where there is fresh water is a picture of abundance.

He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭30‬:‭23‬ NIV)

The Lord describes the Promised Land as a place flowing with milk and honey.
Wherever there is cattle one will not grow hungry.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’  I will send an angel before you..
Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. (‭Exodus‬ ‭33‬:‭1, 3‬ NIV)

My parents worked the farm to raise ten children.  We had plenty of milk, cream, buttermilk and butter, rich food to feed us.

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds.
Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt. 
(Genesis 41 v 18 NIV)

The picture of the cows walking home to be milked has stayed with me.
We have often spent holidays in Co Kerry, Ireland.
Last time we were there a herd of ninety cows filed past to the back of our house at six every morning and evening. They knew it was time for milking.
The farmer did not even have to call them.
I believe God was showing me His provision of abundance then as well.
Let us believe God’s word today.
Let us have faith to enter into our inheritance of a land flowing with milk and honey.