Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Sane Question From an Insane Man

“Sir, have you ever thanked God for your reason”, a patient in an insane asylum asked a visitor? The patient had full possession of his faculties except for occasional fits of insanity that would endanger those who were around him. This man who was classified as insane had an appreciation for something that we all take for granted most of the time: our reason.

Let’s face it. We have so many things for which we should be thankful daily, but we take them for granted. King Nebuchadnezzar did until he temporarily lost his reason, but when it returned to him, thanksgiving and praise were some of the first words that fell from his lips.

One of the sad commentaries of the last days according to II Timothy 3:2 is that people of that era will become “unthankful.” They will develop a capacity to take things for granted and in so doing will lose the sense of gratitude.

History records such an attitude in the person of Prince Felix Schwarzenberg, an Austrian statesman and diplomat after a time when Austria was forced to rely on the help of Czar Nicholas I of Russia to crush the Hungarian uprising against Austrian dominion in 1849. After the successful rescue by the Russians someone asked Schwarzenberg if he did not feel under an obligation to the czar. His measure of ingratitude and impertinence was unbelievable. He replied, “Austria will astound the world with the magnitude of her ingratitude.”

It seems that this cancerous behavior of expressing the magnitude of ingratitude is pervading much of the universe. We have a way of ignoring the value of the things that we enjoy until they are taken away.

A couple sat in church one Sunday and observed the solemnity of a couple who had lost their son in War make a sizable contribution to the church in memory of their deceased son. Deeply touched by the grieving couple, a woman in the audience whispered these words to her husband. “Honey, let us give the same for our boy.” Unmoved the husband replied, “But our son didn’t die.” “That’s just the point,” she responded, “let’s give it because he didn’t.”

What an incredible place to begin. Thank God for the things you haven’t lost.

  • Thank God for the children who ran away from home and returned, but don’t forget to thank God for the ones who didn’t.
  • Thank God for the people whom God has healed of debilitating and death dealing diseases, but thank also God for the many who have never been diagnoses with such diseases.
  • Thank God for marriages that have fallen apart and been put back together again, but don’t forget to thank God for the marriages that have stood the test of time and continue triumphantly and happily.
  • Thank God for families who have suffered from horrible car wrecks and walked away with little or no permanent injuries, but don’t forget to thank God for sparing most of us from such tragedies.
  • Thank God for people who have miraculous provisions to feed them when their pantry was empty, but let us never fail to be constantly thankful who have never known the panic of having nothing to eat.
  • Thank God for missionaries who span the globe carrying the glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, but do not fail to express gratitude to the pastors everywhere who stay at home and feed the flock week after week.
  • Thank God for the times when people have found employment when they had no job at all, but we must equally thank God for the jobs that was never lost at all.
  • Thank God for orphans who have found a home, but we should also thank God that our children have never known what it would be like to have no home to call their own.
  • Thank God for drug addicts that have been set free by Divine deliverance, but never fail to thank God for those who have never been made captive of illegal drugs.

Psalms 100:4 urges us “(to) enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise; BE THANKFUL UNTO HIM, and bless his name.”

Matthew Henry, the famous scholar, had the right idea after he had been accosted and robbed by thieves. He wrote these words in his diary. “Let me be thankful first, because I was never robbed before; second, because, although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”

I ask you what the insane man asked a visitor in the insane asylum. “Sir, have you thanked God for your reason?” If you have your reason, you have many reasons to be thankful. Be thankful unto Him!!!!


Pastor J & Bob