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Tavern Talk #55 - Ungrateful Cheese

My mother was thrifty and not an accomplished chef. As a result, our various hamburger casseroles usually sported a few Kraft singles spread over the top instead of the shredded cheddar cheese the recipe called for. When we complained, she quickly told us that we should be grateful for the food that we have (even though it didn’t contain “grated” cheese). She was, of course, right.

Paul was apparently faced with a lot of whining from the early churches, as his letters often addressed this same issue. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” he told the Thessalonians.[i] “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” he said to the Ephesians.[ii]

Expressing gratitude should be part of our prayer life. We tend to be better at asking God for things than expressing our gratitude. We should be grateful for our answered prayers but also for the things we haven’t asked for but with which we are still blessed. Those things we take for granted. Afterall, all good things come from God.[iii]

Adjusting our perspective allows us to see and appreciate what God has done for us. After all, we must recognize them before we can be grateful for them. Some of these joys are readily known to us but we choose to ignore them and focus on other things – things that we aren’t grateful for.

This doesn’t mean that we have to accept things as they are or that we won’t or shouldn’t feel pain, loss, and sorrow. It simply means that grief doesn’t have to be debilitating, that depression doesn’t have to rule our lives, that perhaps we can channel our anxious energy into something positive, while always realizing that we are human and that is okay.

Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the pain, regardless the situation, God is there for us with love, understanding, support, and more blessings. Look for them!

[i] 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV). [ii] Ephesians 5:19-20 [iii] James 1:17


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