In the movie The Trial, based on a novel by Robert Whitlow, the lead character played by Matthew Modine must defend a client on a murder charge when he, himself, does not have the heart nor desire to keep living. His wife and sons having been killed in an automobile accident for which he blames himself; he battles with grief and depression and suicidal thoughts and searches for the fortitude to stand against the odds - to save his client and himself.
In the closing scene – his client exonerated and a new feeling of purpose – Modine, as “Mac” McClain, speaks out in a grief centered group therapy session,
“My life changed the moment that I stopped asking God why my family was gone and started thanking Him that I was still here.”
In searching for a Thanksgiving message I struggled with finding a way to be thankful without conditions. Being thankful for our blessings is good and right but thankfulness beyond them offers something deeper and possibly indestructible in a fragile world.
To simply be thankful you are here…alive…breathing…with one more chance to give God your best; that’s not just a good life but one with hope and purpose.
God left you here for a reason.
Anyone else ever experience a close call? A moment when your world almost changed radically? I have been, several times, in a car which was out of control - I was severely injured in a motorcycle accident – I have dealt with addiction and mental illness – I know the pain of realizing all your blessings are not enough.
God left you here for a reason…life. God isn’t playing games - He does nothing “pointless” – There is no life without the purposeful intent of God. So regardless of anything else you have or don’t have – whatever condition you are in – whatever you think is your purpose; God has given you another day and that is reason enough to be thankful.
I know people who live with pain, mental illness, and heartbreak every day. These people teach me what it means to have life; to live with gratitude. Being thankful for life when life is not fair displays a God-pleasing faith.
Things can make us happy for a time. Every generation looks to outdo the last with money and pleasure. A billion things make us happy for a while but the same things don’t always make us thankful. Happiness has less to do with what you have than with what you want; while thankfulness is usually centered around things for which we can take no credit – like life.
What makes us happy is never quite the same as what makes us thankful. Your favorite meal makes you happy but simply having life sustaining food is what makes you thankful. Having what you want makes you happy; having what you need makes you thankful; having one more day…what more do you need?