“. . . and He took the seven loaves and gave thanks . . .“Mark 8:6
Throughout the New Testament, the disciples and the apostles lived with a deep thankfulness. No matter the circumstances, they practiced being thankful. Where did they learn such a habit? They got it from watching Jesus. His way of thankfulness made an impression on them. After the darkest days in Jerusalem, on the road to Emmaus, they recognized Him when He broke the bread and gave thanks.
Jesus took the ordinary run-of-the mill bread, associated with God, and gave thanks. He found in an everyday meal, communion with God’s presence. We will never see the miracle of God until we learn to be thankful for the little things.
Practicing the habit of thanks will change our journey through this life. Don’t worry about what’s been lost, but thank Him for the loaves you have left. The same One who gave thanks for the loaves, also gave thanks for the lily and the sparrow. Jesus’ habit of thanks, made the normal radiant. He breathed His music of gratitude through the common place.
We, as His disciples, must learn to walk in the Master’s way of gratitude, and to see God in the ordinary experiences of life. Our health, sleep, food, work, friendships, the laughter of our kids, meals around the table, our worshipping together as a church, the bright, sunny days, the nights. If we do not see God in these things, life will be a drudgery, and the presence of God will remain a stranger to us.
We begin with bread. Give us this day our daily bread. When we begin with bread, we cannot possibly end there. As we discover the divine in the daily, and lift it in thanks, our view of the world is transformed. Thankfulness is like a city seen from the air by night, all the lights along the common streets shining, giving off a divine glow. Our thankfulness is like a floodlight filling in the dim, the dreary, and the dark, making the gracious work of God obvious.
Give thanks, not with a sharp, superficial sentence over a public meal, but with thoughtful reverence. Heighten your sensitivity to the gracious, merciful presence of God. In worshipful stillness, let your thanks be full.