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  • Baptist Beacon

Giving thanks and living thankful

by Mick Schatz

ROSCOMMON, MI – The year 2020 has been a unique year to say the least. Back in 2019 I remember looking ahead to 2020 envisioning an amazing year here at Bambi, and relishing the endless possibilities the year could bring. If only I would have had 20/20 vision to see the realities of the coming year maybe I could have been better prepared - probably not, but WOW! what a year it has been. Now I don’t want to get caught up in reminiscing about 2020, but I do want to share a truth that has been pressing on my heart over the course of the year.

I’ve been challenged to ask myself, “Am I truly thankful?” - “Is being thankful simply a mental or emotional state of being or should it be reflected in how I live everyday?”

Growing up in Florida it was steamy hot in the summertime, and having access to water was essential for staying hydrated as well as keeping plants and grass growing. At my house we put down shallow wells to supply our sprinkler system so the grass wouldn’t die. If mom wasn’t watching, we would run like wild banshees through the sprinklers in our bathing suits or whatever we had on at the time and get as muddy and nasty as possible. It was awesome!

Nevertheless, the problem with shallow wells is just that - they are shallow. They will run dry if there is not an abundance of rain because they are not down very deep in the ground, especially in Florida. They also have a pungent sulfur odor that smells like rotten eggs - you could drink it if you wanted, but we didn’t, no matter how hot or thirsty we became. However, in our front yard we had an old fashioned hand-pump. It was connected to a well that ran deep, deep into the aquifer, and tapped into some of the best and coldest water you could imagine! On hot days when we were playing or working outside, we would prime that pump and crank up some cold, refreshing H2O.

That memory has given me pause to question whether my thankfulness to God depends on the shallow well of my circumstances which is wet or dry depending on the good or bad times in my life. Or does my thankfulness come from a deeper well that will never run dry. A well full of faith, hope, trust and an ever deepening relationship with Christ-the source of life.

You see, when I keep my soul hydrated from the deep well of Christ, living and expressing a heart of thankfulness renders my circumstances powerless. I can’t help but be thankful because my thankfulness comes from the overflow of a life wholeheartedly serving and enjoying a relationship with the One Who provides everything for which I should be thankful. Over the past months I have tried to purposefully make the choice to give thanks and live thankful in spite of the present situation we all find ourselves facing.

Amazingly, choosing thankfulness has opened my eyes to see all of the ways God has been moving in my life, my family's life, Bambi, and those around me. He has reminded me of His provision in the past, present, and His continued provision in the future. It has given me strength to stay the course and not lose heart.

So how about you? Do you need to be refreshed and renewed. Choose to give thanks and live thankful. Take a look at Joshua 24 and read how Joshua called the people to a time of remembrance and thanksgiving to reinvigorate their relationship and exuberance for God. He was challenging them to live with thankful hearts. Being thankful will enable you to see and experience God through the fog of the chaos. Drink deeply and stay refreshed and hopeful as you journey through this present craziness. Maybe we truly can have 20/20 vision in 2020 and beyond!



Mick Schatz serves on the staff of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. He is the State Director of Spiritual Enrichment and Retreats and lives at Bambi Lake.


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