As Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness, they often lacked faith and began to grumble and complain. It may have been that the root of their lack of faith began as a lack of thankfulness. The truth is thankfulness can be a wellspring of faith. Thankfulness also shapes our lives in profound and lasting ways.
Thankfulness may have been a lesson Moses had learned as he trudged across the desert the first time, fleeing Pharaoh after killing the Egyptian. Behind him lay the power and privilege of Egypt; before him stretched the stark, barren landscape of the desert. It gave Moses a lot of time to think. By the time he reached the well at the oasis in the land of Midian, he may well have been thankful for just a glass of water. It was a humbling experience. But it was part of a season that God would use to shape and mold Moses. It may have been a key to Moses standing up for the daughters of Reuel, one of whom became his wife. Later when Moses’ life and leadership were coming to a close, he would pause and recount God’s faithfulness to the Israelites as God led them out of Egypt toward the Promised Land. Moses also instructed them that after they had crossed over into the Promised Land and experienced a time of harvest and blessing that they were to share a time of celebration and thanksgiving with those in need (Deuteronomy 26:12).
This scripture may have been part of the inspiration of our forefathers and mothers sharing the first Thanksgiving feast, after a bountiful harvest, with their Native American friends who had helped them through a time of adversity and challenge.
Cicero wrote, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” Thankfulness is also the mark of a life of faith, and a great attribute for positive leadership. Discover thankfulness. Let thankfulness be one of the hallmarks of your life.
Living in abundance—Dr. TJ
Dr TJ Jenney, PhD
Rev. Dr. T. J. Jenney, Ph.D. is a seasoned pastor and leader who has served churches as well as served as a campus minister and chaplain for police and fire departments as well as the Air Force Auxiliary. Dr. Jenney also served as a faculty member at Purdue University, serving as an adjunct professor in Organizational Leadership. His experience includes serving as a president and CEO of non-profit organizations. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Higher Education Administration from Purdue and an M.Div and an S.T.M. from Yale University. He served as a contributing editor of William B. Eerdmans Bible Dictionary (1989) and Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (2000), as well as written articles for journals.