Links Daily Devotional

The Winning Attitude, Part 18

In everything give thanks… (1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV)

I’m here at Jack and Katie’s log house on the Snake River in Swan Valley, Idaho, with half of my family to celebrate our son Paul’s 50th birthday. I’m lying in bed telling myself, “Don’t scratch.” Mosquitoes have been feasting on my forearms and chiggers on my legs for three days.

Everyone else is still asleep.

Suddenly Paul knocks on the door. “There’s a moose out here.” I jump out of bed, throw on my red-hooded sweatshirt and jeans, and bound out the door.

A 30-yard pitch shot across the blue rapid waters stands a 1,500-pound bull moose.

“Did you tell Michelle, Lori, and the others?” I yell to Paul as he tosses out a line hoping to haul in a five-pound rainbow trout.

“I told Lori,” he said.

“Michelle, get up,” I cry as I run back into the house. “We have a bull moose right across the water.”

She doesn’t answer, so I skip up the stairs.

“I’m here by the window. I can see him,” she says.

I feel a tinge of sadness as I head back downstairs. Peter, my oldest, and the other half of our family of 18 will miss this.

Paul keeps fishing. He’s had one bite in two hours fishing with worms. Occasionally, he pauses to take a photo on his iPhone of the big moose.

The chocolate-brown mammal is not in a hurry. Nor bothered by a crowd of staring humans. He’s here for his breakfast on the aspen twigs and lush greens along the riverside. I wish he would dip in the water.

Suddenly, he stares back at us and moves over to the bank. He lowers his two front legs and bows his elongated nose into the current. My jaw drops. He stays in the water two minutes, then turns around. Just as he starts to wander off, Peter and seven more of our family arrive. Michelle had called them.

Kathryn, wife of Michael my grandson, has never seen a moose, nor has Charles, Rebekah Hiskey’s husband, nor their four-year-old son Landon James. I fear they will not see anything but his rear end.

We watch him meander into the brush, headed downstream. The newcomers follow. Three minutes later he appears in full view to a happy audience, almost like a human posing for a photograph.

A few days ago I was struck with a reading in Psalm 86: “For you alone are great and do wondrous deeds… I will give thanks to you, O LORD my God with all my heart…” (vv. 10, 12).

Giving thanks is such good medicine. God is great. Sometimes we are asked to give thanks in the midst of difficulties. Other times we experience his grace. This morning he took my mind off myself and my itching. It was natural as I witnessed one of his wondrous deeds to pray, “I will give thanks to You, O LORD my God with all my heart.”

God called David, the songwriter of this psalm, a “man after my own heart.” May I suggest one reason he was such a person? He modeled for us a heart of gratitude. Though he failed horribly at times, in the end he was inducted into God’s Hall of Fame.

Jim Hiskey
July 23, 2014
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