In the movie The Trial, based on a novel by Robert Whitlow, the lead
character played by Matthew Modine must defend a client on a murder
charge when he, himself, does not have the heart nor desire to keep
living. His wife and sons having been killed in an automobile
accident for which he blames himself; he battles with grief and
depression and suicidal thoughts and searches for the fortitude to
stand against the odds - to save his client and himself.
In the closing scene – his client exonerated and a new feeling of
purpose – Modine, as “Mac” McClain, speaks out in a grief centered
group therapy session,
“My life changed the moment that I stopped asking God why my family
was gone and started thanking Him that I was still here.”
In searching for a Thanksgiving message I struggled with finding a way
to be thankful without conditions. Being thankful for our blessings
is good and right but thankfulness beyond them offers something deeper
and possibly indestructible in a fragile world.
To simply be thankful you are here…alive…breathing…with one more
chance to give God your best; that’s not just a good life but one with
hope and purpose.
God left you here for a reason.
Anyone else ever experience a close call? A moment when your world
almost changed radically? I have been, several times, in a car which
was out of control - I was severely injured in a motorcycle accident –
I have dealt with addiction and mental illness – I know the pain of
realizing all your blessings are not enough.
God left you here for a reason…life. God isn’t playing games - He
does nothing “pointless” – There is no life without the purposeful
intent of God. So regardless of anything else you have or don’t have
– whatever condition you are in – whatever you think is your purpose;
God has given you another day and that is reason enough to be
I know people who live with pain, mental illness, and heartbreak every
day. These people teach me what it means to have life; to live with
gratitude. Being thankful for life when life is not fair displays a
Things can make us happy for a time. Every generation looks to outdo
the last with money and pleasure. A billion things make us happy for
a while but the same things don’t always make us thankful. Happiness
has less to do with what you have than with what you want; while
thankfulness is usually centered around things for which we can take
no credit – like life.
What makes us happy is never quite the same as what makes us thankful.
Your favorite meal makes you happy but simply having life sustaining
food is what makes you thankful. Having what you want makes you
happy; having what you need makes you thankful; having one more
day…what more do you need?