Families will gather around tables this week and briefly mention the many blessings for which they are grateful to God. For most of us the emphasis will be on the good things we have received. God truly has given us so much.

This Thanksgiving I am thanking God for something else. I am grateful for what I never received.

  • I have not received what I should have received. You see, I should have been in hell right now. But I am not there…and I am never going there! God in His mercy has withheld the judgment that I deserve. Christ took it so that I would never have to. I thank God.
  • I have not received what I could have received. I could have been killed many times. More often than I could even know, my life has been in danger. But the Lord has protected and preserved me. He has kept me from evil and has kept so much evil from me. I thank God.
  • I have not received what I would have received. If God had answered all of my prayers and fulfilled all of my hopes and desires, I would have received so much that I did not need. God knew better than me. Sometimes the more you get what you want the less you want what you got. In kindness He says no. I thank God.

Perhaps the greatest blessings are those things we never knew, never received, never experienced. God’s preventive work. Not what He gave, but what He withheld.

Be grateful for what you never got.