With Thanksgiving approaching this week…and much talk centered around the big Thanksgiving meal (which certainly does make my mouth water by the mention of it!) …I wanted to focus my children’s attention on the real meaning of Thanksgiving…giving thanks.
As I drove them to school this week…I asked them each to name 3 things they are thankful for.
My 7 year old shouted out… “The garbage truck!” Ok…not my first choice but yeah sure why not? I mean garbage trucks are important right? What a modern day convenience to have your nasty smelly trash picked up curbside every week?!
My 5 year old blurted out… “Spiders!” Ok…again not my first choice but let’s see…They are God’s small creations…and they do eat other small annoying insects. Ok sure!
I will spare you of the further answers I received but let’s just say they would most likely not rank high on your list of thankfulness.
As I absorbed my boys’ child-like and maybe to some insignificant answers…I was reminded of the importance of being thankful for the “small” things in life.
Are you thankful for the “small” things in life?
How quickly we offer our thanks to God when he comes through for us in our finances, our relationships, our health…the “big” things in life.
But what about the “small” things? How important are the “small” things? And just how do the “small’ things create “big” opportunities? And “big” opportunities for what?
A great story about the importance of small things…and big opportunities… is in the Bible passage about Jesus feeding the crowd of 5,000 in John 6:1-15.
Now many of us may be familiar with this story and the miracle Jesus performed by feeding a huge crowd of people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish…the Bible states a crowd of 5,000 but many Bible scholars have referenced that number to be greater as women and children were not usually counted.
But you got to check this passage out again…because there is much more to grasp through this amazing story!
5When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. John 6:5-13
First of all…it is important to note that the “boy” is actually a “little” boy (ISV)…a “young” boy (NLT)…as referenced by different Bible translations.
Furthermore…this little boy had 5 “small” barley loaves and 2 “small” fish…clearly a “small” amount of food.
Finally…this little boy gave his “small” amount of food…what little he had…to Jesus.
What is so interesting here is that …this “small” amount of food created a “big” opportunity…to give thanks!
Verse 11 says Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks… He did the same with the fish.
Jesus gave thanks for the 5 “small” barley loaves and 2 “small” fish…before he multiplied it into abundance!
He gave thanks for the “small” amount of food…the “small” things.
He didn’t wait to give His thanks after…after he multiplied the food…after everyone had enough to eat…after the leftovers were collected…after He performed the miracle…after the “small” thing became a “big” thing!
What a wonderful example for us to follow!
Small things are big opportunities for us to give thanks!
Oftentimes…we give thanks after God pulls us through our difficult circumstances…after He provides what we need…after He heals us…after He delivers us…after He restores us…after He makes the impossible possible…after He performs the miracle…after the “big” things. And rightfully so…we certainly should be thankful to God for all of these “big” things.
But what about the “small” things? Are the “small” things in your life “big” opportunities to express your thankfulness and gratitude?
God wants us to be thankful for all things…in everything which includes the “big” and the “small” things!
Giving thanks at all times for all things in the name our Lord Jesus Christ to the God and Father. Ephesians 5:20 BLT
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASB
Note the use of words here…God also says to give thanks…for all things…and in everything! For the big and the small things…in every life season! (So that means right smack in the middle of life’s challenges too)
Thankfulness should not just grab our attention on the Thanksgiving holiday each year…but should be in our daily life…and should be a way of life!
God wants us to be thankful for all things because it demonstrates our faithfulness to Him….and our faithfulness in the small things will open the door for God to do bigger things in our lives!
Whoever is faithful with very little will also be faithful with much. Luke 16:10 BSB
Don’t wait for the big things to give thanks to God…Jesus didn’t! Give Him thanks today for the small things.
Allow the “small” things to create “big” opportunities to give thanks this Thanksgiving. And let this holiday reflect thankfulness as a way of life…each and every day.
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and thank you to all my subscribers for supporting Sweeter Than Honey Blog!