No doubt, the drought of 2012 was severe. A Wikipedia article said the drought covered 80% of the United States and was caused as much by the mild winter and lack of snow during the winter as the long, hot, dry summer.
Since I live in a farming community, I heard lots about the drought during the summer months. The weather is a safe topic of conversation anyway, and when it’s notable, it’s high on the agenda for casual conversations. So naturally, that’s what a postal clerk and I talked about one day when I went to buy stamps; how hot it was, how dry, how desperately we need rain.
“We got rain last night,” I said. “I’m so thankful.”
She frowned. “I live north of here. We didn’t get any.”
“It certainly has been spotty.” I was trying to sympathize. “Maybe next time you’ll get it instead of us.”
The frown turned to a scowl. “We’re going to need a lot more rain for it to make any difference.”
“I’m just so thankful for whatever we get,” I said. “I understand drought conditions in southern Illinois are a lot worse than they are here.”
Her arms folded across her chest. “You are just bound and determined to make something positive out of this drought.” Her glare was definitely on the accusing side.
I picked up my stamps and grinned. “I guess I am,” I said and left.
The Faith Behind My Thankfulness
Later I pondered my attitude. My stance of thankfulness probably sounded foreign to her. But I truly felt a deep sense of gratitude for the rain we had received and I was certain we would get more. My gratitude overflowed from my confidence that God has and always will provide.
You see, thankfulness stems from our trust in God. When we thank God for our blessings, we are remembering that we are not alone, that there is someone looking out for us. Thanking Him for what He has done enables us and strengthens us to trust Him for the future. If God has blessed us in the past, He can be counted on to do it again.
Our thankful attitudes drive the world crazy. Even though their choice of words says otherwise, you can’t just be thankful. There must be a direct object for your gratitude. When I express my thankfulness, I’m admitting there is a God who is in control of my world, that what I have received is a gift from Him and that He cares about me personally.
So I challenge you. Drive the people around you crazy this Thanksgiving season. Be willing to express what you are thankful for. Make it personal. Go deep. Don’t stop with the casual blessings of family and a warm home that most everyone has most of the time. Boldly proclaim what God has done for you this year. The scent of your witness to God’s ability to provide will linger long after you leave.
One place to start is on Facebook. Several of my friends and I are taking the “Thankful Month Challenge.” Each day, we’re posting something we are thankful for. Believe me, by November 10th, we’re quickly learning to go a little deeper and more specific with our thanksgivings.
As for the drought of 2012? My farmer friends tell me that it doesn’t make sense. They should have had a terrible year. That’s what Wikipedia predicted: catastrophic economic ramifications. But they didn’t lose their crops. In fact, their crops yielded far more than they should have harvested. In spite of the drought, God delivered. For that, we are all very grateful.