by Colonel Christine J. Rock

How did this happen, again? A sliver of turkey. A spoonful of potatoes, stuffing, peas, and corn. Cranberry sauce (tradition demands it). Sweet potatoes (just a smidge). Pie (of course). Before we know it, we’re full. Really full. Stretchy pants full.

How could such tiny bits of food add up to such an overwhelming feeling of fullness?

When we think of being “thankful,” or “full of thanks,” we readily acknowledge the big things: God’s grace, His salvation, family, friends, and, perhaps, another year of life. But we forget the small things that brighten our day, like that colorful sunset, perfect cup of coffee, or encouraging word from someone we admire.

Maybe we think we’re too sophisticated, too worldly wise, to celebrate the small things. We tell ourselves there’s too much suffering, pain, and darkness in the world—and if we draw attention to the modest delights in our day, we will seem trivial, insensitive, and uninformed to others.

But our Creator God takes delight in the small things. He paints each tiny feather with iridescent hues. He shapes delicate snowflakes into works of art. He shines rays of sunlight through the dappled autumn leaves, making each one glow with warmth and color.

The Lord generously pours out His blessings into our lives, large and small, without measure.

He does not expect us to “fill up” only on the main course of His saving and sanctifying grace. He invites us to take in and be filled to the brim with thanksgiving with the tiny servings of comfort, compassion, and kindness that come our way, every day.

In 2 Kings 4, a poor, indebted widow pleads with Elisha to stop her creditors from taking her sons into slavery as payment. Elisha instructs the woman to gather every empty jar she can find from her household and her neighbors to be filled with the oil that God would provide. I imagine that woman did not fuss about the size. Every jar—large and small—was fit to capture God’s miraculous provision. Every bit of that oil was precious, life giving, and a part of the lavish gift from the Lord.

Praising God for the tiniest of blessings in our lives is not an indication that we are careless about the problems of our world. Instead, it is a way of reminding ourselves and others that, even with all the violence, hatred, and injustice that human beings have wrought, God is still opening His heart and His hands to us. He is still our Provider. He is not giving up on us. Rather, He keeps on showering us with His love, His grace, His beauty.

As we enjoy reading about what God is doing in this issue of the Good News, let’s be filled with thanksgiving for all His handiwork and celebrate together every life that is changed, every victory that is won, every bit of progress made. It all adds up—and it all matters.