8/30/12 Mark, about 45
"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thes. 5:18) The Apostle Paul, once a persecutor of Christians, knew through his relationship with Jesus the tremendous difference that an attitude of gratitude can make in the life of a believer. While out for a walk around the block during my lunch break at work today I noticed a house with a wheelchair ramp built next to the front porch. As I passed by I noticed its owner at the top of the stairs, so I went up to initiate a gospel conversation. Mark, about 45, a double amputee, was sitting in his wheelchair on his porch, enjoying the beautiful day. He described himself as "spiritual, but not committed to any organized church." I asked what he meant by "spiritual". He told about how he prays every morning, conveying his gratitude to God for all the different areas of his life, which he began to talk about. As he did, his sense of gratitude just sort of radiated out from him. He is especially glad about the forgiveness he has with God through Jesus, and all the people who have helped him through most of his life with a chronic illness that has led to his legs being amputated. He in no way complained or showed any bitterness for his condition, but was a blessing to me instead, reminding me of all that I have to be thankful for. "I want to challenge you with one thing" I told him. "You need to go to church. They need you there! You would be a tremendous blessing to so many people who don't appreciate what God has blessed them with, just like you've been a blessing to me today!" Let's pray he does, because there are a lot of unappreciative people in church who could benefit from the attitude of gratitude that Mark has to offer.