About this time each year we’re asked about our gratefulness. We hear responses around the family table or in public expressions of known and unknown citizens. We reflect: we’re grateful for family, for health, for a warm house, or (as I saw just now on FB) for the local sports team having a winning record. We are thankful for much, great and small.

I have my list. The year since last Thanksgiving has been rich in many ways and a struggle in others; I am thankful for all of it.  My list is likely to be similar to millions of others. But that’s not the topic of this post. My thought here is that thankfulness without attribution is really just a ranking of the year’s events and a listing of my accomplishments. But why did things go well, or not so well?

Josh Hamilton, when he learned yesterday that he had received the Major League Baseball’s Most Valuable Player award in the American League—following five years of sobriety after a long struggle as a drug and alcohol addict—said: “I am 100% certain that I would not have received this award if I had done this on my own.”

Hamilton is a grateful Christian. He is not just thankful for athletic achievement. He is thankful to God for his accomplishments, and for life itself.

Many people are involved in enriching our lives, and I thank those in my life who have brought it great joy and vivid contours.  But ultimately I do not thank them or my lucky stars, or thank goodness or fate; nor am I just thankful to, well, whatever.

I am thankful to God who holds my life in His hands and has been gracious in not granting me only the result of my inadequate efforts, or the full impacts of my partial wisdom and imperfect judgment. God in his mercy has me exactly where he wants me, and His will is more than sufficient. Thank God.


About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group ( Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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