Why I’m Thankful For What We Don’t Have
We don’t have a big house that’s decorated to look like something from a page of Better Homes & Gardens. It isn’t even worthy of being pinned on Pintrest. We don’t have furniture that matches, and anything considered nice at one point has since been destroyed by the cats. We don’t drive expensive cars. In fact, the newest one is 12 years old. But, just the other day I came to realize how thankful I am for what we don’t have.
Thankful We Can Participate
Our kitchen is not big, and when all six of us are sitting at the table, you have to squeeze yourself between the wall and the chairs just to get out. So, you can imagine what my eating area might have looked like when crowded around our table were nine teenagers, nine hungry teenagers. They didn’t seem to mind the tight and cramped quarters, in fact, they seemed to enjoy the sense of being huddled together in mass, all working toward a common goal—food. I was amused by the constant laughter and joking as they attempted to fumble their way through making two dozen waffles. I watched in amazement at how fast kids can consume five pounds of bacon. And I tripped more than once as I constantly maneuvered my way around a pile of shoes that had completely taken over my kitchen floor. We didn’t have enough milk, juice or even soda to drink, but somehow no one walked away thirsty.
As I sat on-top of my messy countertop taking it all in, I was reminded of a verse in Hebrews,
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
The word share in this verse means partnership, or quite literally, “participation.” To know someone, you must participate in life with them, just as Jesus did. Jesus shared His life not only with those closest to Him, but also with those He encountered only briefly. The bleeding woman, the 5,000 He fed, the little children; Jesus shared a part of Himself with them all. The Son didn’t have much in the worldly sense, but He had what no other man could give; salvation, forgiveness of sins, freedom. Jesus allowed every person who was willing, to participate in life with Him, and He still does.
Thankfulness Leads to Sharing
To me, I think there is no greater good than opening your home and your heart to share whatever you do have, whether it be much or a little. That morning, our small, crowded kitchen became a place of partnership with my children’s friends. They got a chance to participate in our family and in our memories; and vice versa. We were given the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we served and loved on those nine teenagers, and for that I am so thankful. I am thankful the Lord has chosen our home to be used as an instrument of love and laughter, comfort and closeness.
During this Thanksgiving holiday may we not neglect to do good and to share what we have. May we look for ways to partner with others and to participate in life with them. I pray we are all thankful for what we don’t have, and even more grateful for the things we do.