Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions is, “How are you?” Some common responses are: OK, Pretty good, Fine, Doing all right, Can’t complain. Then there are those when asked how they are, go on and on telling you more than you expected to hear or really cared to know.
When asked, “How are you?” why not try this answer, “I’m grateful!” You may be hurting, you may be troubled, you may be carrying a heavy burden, but there is always something for which to be grateful. There is, for example, the love of Jesus that doesn’t change, the forgiveness that He freely offers, and all of His wonderful promises that never fail. Then, of course, there are family, friends, and many other rich blessings. Yes, you can be grateful for what you have, but you can also be very thankful for what you do not have.
A number of years ago a married could approached their pastor about a special gift of money that they wanted to give to the Lord for some specific project at the church. As they explained, “We want to give this gift to the Lord for what we do NOT have.” Not only were they mindful of the manifold blessings that they had received from the hand of the Lord, but they were also very mindful of many thing from which they had been spared. They were grateful and wanted to express their gratitude with a gift of love to the Lord who had kept them from experiencing certain crosses, losses or whatever.
All that we need to do is, like these two, is to look around us and within ourselves and it will soon become apparent that we have been spared from so much. Let’s be thankful for what we do NOT have.
The Apostle Paul encourages us, in Ephesians 5:20: “Give thanks always for all things…” To which we might add, things that we have and things that we do not have.
It might be an interesting and most profitable experience to thank God for some things you DO NOT HAVE. Make a list….then Thank God!
Then when asked, “How are you?”, consider giving the answer: “I’m grateful!”