It has been said that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Do you realize how much God cares for you? Do you grasp that you are always on his mind? You are constantly under his watchful eye? David wrote, “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4 NIV). The word translated “care” in the NIV is sometimes translated “visit” in other translations. It means “to attend to, to observe.” God, like a caring friend, a good doctor, and a loving pastor all rolled up in one, focuses on our needs. Sometimes we don’t see him, and other times we don’t feel him. But God is there. He quietly intersects our lives meeting our needs when we need him most.
Remember the footprints story? A man looks back on his life and sees two sets of footprints. One is his; the other is God’s. As the man observes his life, when things are going well there are two distinct sets of footprints. But, interestingly, when life is difficult and the times are trying there is only one set of footprints. He questions God, as to why he leaves him when life is hard. God responds by saying, “My son, you don’t understand. When there is only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
God is a caring God. Like Hallmark cards, “He cared enough to send the very best.” When he saw our need for forgiveness he sent his one and only Son to die for our sins. He did for us on the cross what we could not do ourselves. For that we should be eternally grateful.
We truly have much to be thankful for, don’t we?
To be grateful, after all, is to see God, the world, and ourselves aright—to recognize that all of life is a gracious gift from his hand. We are all indebted to God. This Thanksgiving Day and everyday for that matter, I hope you get around to God and thank him.
In 1636, amid the darkness of the Thirty Years’ War, a German pastor, Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried five thousand of his parishioners in one year, an average of fifteen a day. His parish was ravaged by war, death, and economic disaster.
In the heart of that darkness, with the cries of fear outside his window, he sat down and wrote this table grace for his children:
Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom his world rejoices.
Who, from our mother’s arms,
Hath led us on our way
With countless gifts of love
And still is ours today.
Here was a man who knew thanksgiving comes from love of God, not from outward circumstances. This Thanksgiving I hope you get around to thanking God. He cares for you. This Thanksgiving, and every day, thank God. Make sure he is first and last on your thanksgiving list.