There was once a cowboy whose horse had been injured and had to be put down. The cowboy was wandering in the desert for several days. He had just about lost all hope, but he finally saw light coming from the window of a house, and being tired and weak, he crawled up to the house and collapsed on the doorstep. It turns out that he had arrived at the doorstep of an old country preacher.
You may have heard this one before. The preacher takes him in and nurses him back to health. Feeling better, the man asks the preacher for directions to the nearest town. The preacher tells him the directions, and offers to lend him his horse to make it. The preacher informs him, “But understand, there is a special thing about this horse. You have to say ’Thank God’ to make him go and ’Amen’ to make him stop.”
Anxious to get to town, the cowboy agrees to the offer, “Sure, okay and thanks,” and gets on the horse. He says, “Thank God” and shure e’nuff, the horse starts walking. A bit later he says louder, “Thank God, thank God,” and the horse starts trotting. Feeling really brave, the man says, “Thank God! Thank God! THANK GOD!” and the horse is soon travelin’ at a full gallop!
About then he realizes he’s headin’ for a huge cliff so he pulls on the reins and yells “Whoa!” But the horse doesn’t even slow! It’s coming up REAL QUICK and he’s doing everything he can to make the horse stop. “Whoa, stop, hold on!” Finally he remembers “AMEN!!!”
The horse stops a mere two inches from the cliff’s edge, most nearly throwing him over his head. The man, panting and heart racing, wipes the sweat from his face and leans back in the saddle. Gasping for air he says w/ relief, “THANK GOD!” (author unknown) Psalms 100 (A Psalm for Thanksgiving)
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His loving kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations. (nasb)
You might be thinking something like, “But what do I have to be thankful for? I’m broke, my wife left me, my horse is lame, my pickup threw a rod right after I hit that deer, and you are asking me to think about being thankful? Really? I jist don’t think I can!”
The pilgrims of the first Thanksgiving in this land had to face all sorts of adversity and yet they had a celebration of thanksgiving as they came together to praise God! And they invited the neighbors as well! In the Old Testament, Job had lost everything, yet he arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. (Job 1:20-22 nasb)
I don’t know about y’all but I think I was probably born naked just like Job! I now have clothes to wear and for that, I am thankful! And I am thankful for my wife and two children and their spouses and grandson, thankful for my folks and siblins’ and friends, and for the roof over my head, and for heatin’ and coolin’, pickup that runs, calves bein’ born, and stuff like runnin’ water and light bulbs that work without even havin’ to peddle a generator! And I am thankful that I have a relationship with my Trail Boss—my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He keeps me on the right trail and directs me to bring others to the trail as we travel along knowing that one day soon we will arrive at the Father’s Headquarters. What a homecoming that will be! Choose Jesus, choose life and you will be saved! And find a church where you “fit in” and grow in Christ! Thank you Lord for the rain! God is good! See y’all at cowboy church and keep PRAYIN’ for more RAIN! Amen!
Reach Wes Kinder at firstname.lastname@example.org.