Do you ever find it a little hard to be thankful? As long as we are on this old earth, we are going to have some hard times. Some of them will be very hard.
Do you know what I have learned, though? When it seems like everything is all wrong, one of the best things to do is this: ask God to help you be thankful. Really. Even if you don’t feel like it.
There is a neat story in the Bible. God’s people, the Israelites, were in the desert wilderness. They were far, far away from any town. They did not have gardens for nice, fresh vegetables. A lot of times they got very thirsty or hungry. Mean nations around them wanted to come kill God’s people.
Things could look pretty bad.
If they thought about it, though, the people had a lot to be thankful for. They used to be slaves. God was saving them. God was giving them water and food, even in the desert. He was leading them and protecting them from their enemies.
God told His people to make a special place called a “sanctuary”. He would stay there, right with the people. The only thing is, they needed stuff to build the sanctuary with. They needed animal skins, beautiful cloth, gold and silver and very nice wood. They needed sweet-smelling spices and oil. And they needed workers to prepare all these things.
So Moses told all the people to bring their offerings–but only if they really wanted to. The Bible says, “Whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD….” That is found in Exodus 35:5.
Guess what happened! The people started bringing their offerings. Men, and women, and children…they all were bringing what they could. There were people there to keep things organized.
The things started piling up in the piles.
Finally, the workers had to say, “Stop! No more! We have enough–actually, we have too much!” The Bible says, “For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.”
Isn’t that a happy problem? The people decided to show God their thanks and bring Him a special offering.
How can we show God that we are thankful for how He takes care of us? He is leading us, too. Did you know that? We may not be living in the desert (of course, some of us are, though!), but we are living on this old earth, for now. But it is just for now.
Soon Jesus will come to take us home to Heaven–a better land. I know He loves me, and I know He loves you, too.
I have a coloring sheet for you at the top of this post. It has the words of the Bible verse from our story, “…Whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD….” (Exodus 35:5). The verse is in a heart shape in somebody’s hands.
It is kind of like us giving our heart to Jesus. That really means giving Him our life by living how He asks us to. That is a good way to show we are thankful, isn’t it?
How do you show you are thankful? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments!