More importantly, how many of you deliberately and reverentially give thanks before every meal? I mean, do you take the time to gather your family together and honor God for providing the food that sustains you, and thanking Him for offering His beloved Son as a sacrifice for your sins? And do you do it every day, or just on special holidays like Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving? On the other hand, do you refrain from saying Grace before a meal if you are out in public; or do you bow your head, indifferent as to how it is perceived by others?
|"Saying Grace" by Norman Rockwell (1951)
Additionally, where once one might have been eyed with cynicism or contempt for praying before dining; I am now seeing a respectful reception of the practice. And I am thankful for small blessings. Even in the midst of the ugliness the world has to offer, people can still recognize our obeisance to our Lord.
In fact, I ran across a small notice on some obscure website about a restaurant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina that offers a surprising deal: if patrons pray before their meal, they receive 15 percent off their bill. As the owner of the restaurant explained, "For me, every plate of food is a gift. And I never take that for granted; so when I see someone in a restaurant honoring their gratefulness at my table...it touches my heart." Guess what? It touches God's heart, too.
I don't want to dwell overly long on the subject, but I'm kind of fascinated as to 1) why it seems to be important to show that we are not ashamed of our faith, and 2) what message it gives those who are not Believers. Perhaps among those of us of faith, it is one small thing we can do that shows our allegiance to our Savior. In some small way it is taking a stand against the culture and its efforts to remove God from the foundations of our lives and the nation. It is a uniquely personal way to show the world that you are grateful. And it says, "I am a follower of Christ, and I put Him first before my own needs."
And maybe to the spectator, it exhibits that "something special" that we possess; that quality that they can't quite figure out. If nothing else, it shows the confidence we have in openly sharing our faith and our thankfulness. Wouldn't it be wonderful if our simple act of giving thanks could create a curiosity and a desire for what we have?
There's no heavy message in today's post, and no great call to action. I just want you to consider how often we are blessed each day in this country, and think about how often you express gratitude for those blessings. The next time you sit down to enjoy a meal, whether as a family, or by yourself, think of how fortunate you are to have food to eat, and how many people around the world would love even a portion of what has been set before you. Don't take it for granted and take the time to offer a simple prayer of thanks to Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord Who Provides. I promise you nothing will ever taste sweeter.
Acts 27:35 "And when He had said these things, He took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all He broke it and began to eat."