“Always be thankful.” – Colossians 3:15, NLT
This morning I listened to a message preached years ago by one of my favorite college professors, Dr. Bernard Holmes. When he passed away in 2008, his wife donated a portion of his personal library to our local Baptist association. I’m thankful I was able to get a few of his favorite books, but I’m especially blessed to have some of his sermons on tape.
This great man served God with great intensity and passion, even in spite of severe illness. I remember watching him stand before us in chapel after being hospitalized several times, with one hand paralyzed from disease. I could barely contain my emotions. The Lord’s strength and power was evident in his life. Dr. Holmes showed me what it means to follow the Lord, and his example still continues to challenge me today.
In this message on prayer, Dr. Holmes shared with his audience the importance of ongoing thanksgiving in our lives. He asked, “When was the last time you thanked God for your kidneys?” The audience laughed, to which he replied, “I’m serious! How would you be without them? Have you ever thanked him for your eyes and your legs and your feet? Have you thanked him for your parents and your country?”
At the end of his sermon, he told everyone to get out a piece of paper and write down:
1. something that’s difficult or seems almost impossible for which to be thankful.
2. three people who are still living who have made a positive contribution in your life but you’ve never thanked (parent, friend, football coach, teacher, pastor, etc.).
He then encouraged everyone to take their list one step further:
1. Thank God for that hard thing in your life or in your past.
2. Write or call those three people to thank them for how they have impacted your life.
For the past few months, God has been speaking to me on this topic of being thankful in all circumstances, so Dr. Holmes’ words resonate with me today.
I’m going to take his advice by thanking God and thanking three people in my life.
Will you join me?