There is scene from the old Disney classic, Pollyanna. The ever optimistic little girl is continually expressing gladness. She actually learned it as a game from her missionary father. He called it the Glad Game. Once when a "missionary barrel" arrived, (a shipment of donated goods from a supporting church) she told her dad that she was really hoping for a doll to play with.
Instead of a doll, the only thing left after the basics (canned food, used clothing etc.) was a set of crutches! A crotchety maid sarcastically asked Pollyanna, "What was there to be glad about then?" Pollyanna replied, "That we didnít need crutches."
This year I have lots to be glad and thankful about. I am thankful for my new soon-to-be son in law, Jonathan. He is a fine young man. He and Hannah will make a difference for the Kingdom of God in their lives.
Iím thankful for my son Peter. A gifted musician and poet, he is already making a huge difference in the lives of the students at the High School where he is a second year teacher. He knows who Jesus is, and has a sharp mind and keen insights into the things of God.
Recently, my father in law, Adair, went to be with the Lord. He and Betty raised two daughters who in turn have raised children who serve the Lord in their generation. From the mission field to the local church, they too are making a difference. What, I ask myself, would have happened, or should I say not happened, if Adair and Betty didnít see to it that their children were in church every Sunday?
Finally, I am thankful for the soon-to-be mother of the bride, Judy. Last week we celebrated thirty years of marriage. She has been with me through all the ups and downs of this thing called ministry. Our children couldnít have had a more loving mother, nor I a more supportive helpmate.
Most of all I am thankful for the mercy and grace of God. I have enjoyed a life that I could not have imagined when I was growing up back in a steel town in Ohio. I will be with Jesus forever, not because of anything I have done, but because he suffered horribly to atone for my sins, and the sins of the whole world.
So today, Iím playing the Glad Game. Want to play?
Copyright 2009 by Jim Jenkins. All rights reserved.