How to Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Topical Scripture: Luke 17:11–19

Last Tuesday, I was honored to introduce Dr. Tony Evans as the keynote speaker for The Salvation Army’s luncheon in Dallas. Dr. Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, a 10,000-member congregation in our city. He has published more than 100 books, booklets, and Bible studies. His daily radio program is heard on 1,400 stations in 130 countries. His sermons are downloaded 20 million times a year.

Baylor University named Dr. Evans one of the 12 most effective preachers in the English-speaking world. His address yesterday was characteristically brilliant and moving. And it was enormously courageous.

You see, his wife, Dr. Lois Evans, is on hospice care. Doctors have no further options in treating her cancer.

And yet you would never know the pain Dr. Evans was in. He demonstrated the joy of the Lord, the power of the Spirit, and an attitude of gratitude for the grace of God.

If he could, we can.

Scripture calls us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Not “for” all circumstances, but “in” them. Dr. Evans clearly obeyed the word of God last Tuesday.

How can we have true Thanksgiving this Thursday? And every day of the year?

Trust God with your pain

Luke 17 (NIV) tells us that Jesus was “on his way south to Jerusalem” and the cross, traveling “along the border between Samaria and Galilee” (v. 11). Along his journey, our Lord met ten lepers (v. 12). They stood at a distance shouting “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” (v. 13). Why?

Lepros is a Greek word which can mean various skin diseases. Psoriasis, lupus, and ringworm probably would have been considered leprosy in Jesus’ day. Leprosy proper, or Hansen’s disease, was common as well. There are three kinds, distinguished by the spots they create: red, white, and black. The disease is seated in the bones, marrow, joints, and nerves, only eventually manifesting itself in the skin.

By that time, it is far advanced. It can cause the nerves to die, so that the patient cannot feel pain, and will damage feet or other limbs without him knowing it. It can cause the joints to separate and literally fall off. Hansen’s disease is always fatal, contagious, and hereditary. It was the AIDS of the ancient world.

And so these lepers stood “at a distance” from Jesus (v. 12). When the leper was windward of a healthy person, the diseased person was made to stand at least fifty yards away. As Jesus was about to enter a village (v. 13), they were required to keep their distance from him.

The Old Testament is clear on this restriction: “The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp” (Leviticus 13:45–46). “Command the Israelites to send away from the camp anyone who has a defiling skin disease” (Numbers 5:2).

Imagine being made to live the rest of your life alone or in a camp with other sufferers. Never seeing your family at closer than one hundred and fifty feet; never touching your wife or husband or children or parents again; never knowing a touch of affection or love. An exile for the rest of your life, through absolutely no fault of your own. And this is not to mention the horrible physical suffering when the malady was actual Hansen’s disease, as it so often was.

We can hear and feel their plaintive cry, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” (v. 13). Perhaps they heard of his earlier healing of a leper (Luke 5:12–16). Possibly they knew of his larger healing ministry and compassion for those in need. At any rate, they had nothing to lose by appealing to him for help. The worst that could happen was that he would ignore them as did all the other members of their society.

Jesus did exactly what they asked, having pity on their need. He commanded them to go and show themselves to the priests (v. 14), as only a priest could declare them clean and allow them to reenter society. As they went in faith that they were healed, they were.

Thank God for his provision

Now comes the turning point of the story: “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice” (v. 15). They had apparently not gone far, as this man was easily able to find Jesus again to thank him. Note that this episode occurred before the leper went to the priest, so that the priest could make no claim to having healed him.

He “threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him” (v. 16a). Earlier he could get no closer than one hundred and fifty feet; now he fell at his very feet in gratitude. “And he was a Samaritan,” Luke adds (v. 16b). To the Jewish mind, this was a half-breed, a moral and spiritual leper whatever his physical condition. Luke didn’t mention the man’s racial status before. It didn’t matter that he was a Samaritan until he became the only one to return in gratitude. Then Luke pointed out his identity for the sake of irony and emphasis.

Jesus then turned this event into a teaching moment: “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” (vs. 17-18). The word translated “foreigner” (allogenes) has been found on a limestone block from the Temple: “Let no foreigner enter within the screen and enclosure surrounding the sanctuary.” A foreigner could not come to the Temple of God, but he could come to the God of the Temple!

So Jesus said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (v. 19). It would seem that the man wanted to remain with Jesus; so our Lord told him to “go,” to return to the priest so he could receive his certificate of cleansing and reenter society. With this promise: “your faith has made you well.”

“Well” translates sodzo; when this word is connected with “faith” in the gospels, it takes on a much larger sense than only physical healing. It means to be “saved,” spiritually as well as physically. To be “whole” as several translations render it. To be complete, to be right with God. “Has saved you” is a literal translation.

The perfect tense points to completed action. “You” is singular—only one person was “saved” or made completely well. The other nine were cured of their physical disease—this man of his spiritual malady. The others were cured, one day to die—this man was cured, to live eternally. And the reason? He returned to Jesus in faith, to give thanks.

Recognize your need for grace

Why do so few follow his example and receive his healing today?

If we do not believe that God has given us all that we have; if we separate Sunday from Monday and religion from the “real world”; if we make God our hobby instead of our King; if we think that we are the source of our possessions and prosperity—why would we be thankful to God? We might say a prayer over a Thanksgiving meal, but we certainly wouldn’t let such religious tradition impede on the rest of our holiday, much less the rest of our lives. Why not confine the meal to halftime of the football game, to be followed by an early start on Christmas shopping? If God is irrelevant to our lives, how can he be relevant to Thanksgiving?

It’s easy to condemn those who have turned Thanksgiving from a holy day to a secular holiday, to refuse shopping this Thursday and even this Friday, but is that all God asks of us? As we have seen, his word says to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). How are we doing with an attitude of gratitude? When last did you take even ten minutes to express thanks to God? When last were you guilty of joining the nine thankless lepers? I’ve had to ask the same question of myself.

Why are we so seldom with the one? I think I know some of the reasons.

  • The nine perhaps thought they deserved God’s favor, for they were Jews. We think we deserve life and gifts and goodness, but we don’t.
  • There would be time later, after they saw the priests and then their families and friends and rejoiced in celebration. They could always come back later to give thanks. But they didn’t. Usually we don’t.
  • They lost sight of Jesus. They were so focused on their newfound health that they forgot the One who gave it to them. So do we.
  • Giving thanks doesn’t really matter to Jesus. He’s God—he’s above that sort of thing. But his response to their thanklessness proved otherwise. God does care. And so do others.
  • I don’t need to give thanks. There’s nothing really to be missed. But there was. They missed salvation—eternal relationship with God. Their bodies were healed, but their souls were not. They were never made whole and well, because they were thankless men. Thanksgiving makes us whole.

You see, we “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4). When we are thankful, we recognize and submit to the Source of our life and blessings. We are empowered by his Spirit. We manifest his love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. An attitude of gratitude marks us as the children of God and enables him to use us for in his service.

One grateful leper is still changing lives twenty centuries later. Thanksgiving honors God and extends his Kingdom.


How do we develop an attitude of gratitude? By trusting our needs to God and thanking him for his provisions. Every time we have a need. And every time he gives us his provision.

I mentioned last Sunday that the previous Sunday I was away from our Chapel to preach at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler. Janet and I accepted their invitation in part because they are a remarkable, global congregation, the largest church in East Texas and one of the most effective anywhere.

The other reason I accepted their invitation is that two of our grandchildren live in Tyler. Even though Green Acres is not their church, they came to worship on Sunday. And seeing my granddaughter in her beautiful red dress at church was worth it all.

I saw another person that morning who also caused me to “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.”

My father died of a heart attack in 1979 at the age of fifty-five. On the first day my brother and I came back to our college campus after his funeral, Linda Sharp found us. Her father had died six months earlier of cancer and her pregnant older sister a few months earlier when she was killed by a drunk driver.

Linda put her arms around us and said, “Time helps. It doesn’t heal, but it helps.” I will never forget her grace that day.

I saw Linda at Green Acres. I had forgotten that she and her husband are members there. When I saw her in the hallway, my heart was flooded with gratitude for her. And to the God who used her so beautifully in my life.

If we’ll give every need to God and thank him for every provision, there will never be an hour when we will not be grateful. This is the promise, and the invitation, of God.

I Am the Bread of Life

Topical Scripture: John 6:35

The Masters concludes today. The tournament is played on one of the most beautiful and historic golf courses in the world. However, the tournament was cancelled from 1943 to 1945 due to World War II. To assist the war effort, cattle and turkeys were raised on the grounds.

Here are some other surprising facts I discovered this week:

  • Vending machines kill more people than sharks.
  • Cockroaches can live for weeks without their heads until they die of hunger.
  • Humans share 50 percent of our DNA with bananas.
  • Under extreme pressure, diamonds can be made from peanut butter.

I was doubtful about each of these “facts” until I researched them and became convinced by what I read. Of course, the documentation I studied could have been wrong. Or I could have misinterpreted it. Or I could have communicated it incorrectly to you today.

One certainty in life is the reality of doubt.

The renowned historian Will Durant mailed questionnaires about the meaning of life to a number of famous people. After reading their answers, he published them in a chapter he titled, “An Anthology of Doubt” (On the Meaning of Life). Who hasn’t contributed to that topic?

This week we’ll begin a series on faith questions. We begin with questions about our faith itself. What do we do when we doubt our salvation or our relationship with the Lord? How can we help someone else with their doubts?

How to eat the “bread of life”

Our text is built on one of the most famous scenes in Scripture. Moses is a shepherd in the desert when he encounters a bush that is on fire but not being consumed. Here he meets the God of the universe and is told that he will lead the people of Israel out of Egyptian slavery.

Moses anticipates the Israelites asking Moses the name of this God he met in the desert. The Lord answers, “I AM WHO I AM.” Then he says, “Say this to the people of Israel: “I AM has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14).

“I AM” translates the Hebrew YHWH, sometimes transliterated in English as “Yahweh.” It is God’s personal name for himself. The Hebrew can be translated “the One who was, is, and ever shall be” or “the ever-present God.”

Fast forward to the time of Jesus. This Galilean carpenter has fed the crowd of five thousand (John 6:1–14) and walked on the Sea of Galilee (vv. 16–21). When the crowds gather around him again, he makes this staggering statement: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

Note his first two words: “I am.” This rabbi is laying claim to the personal name of God himself. He is identifying himself as God. And he is using God’s name to explain his essence and ministry.

He does this seven times in John’s Gospel. He calls himself the “bread of life (John 6:35),” the “light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5), the “door of the sheep” (John 10:7, 9), the “good shepherd” (John 10:11, 14), the “resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and the “true vine” (John 15:1). We will study each of these in the following weeks.

Jesus’ first “I am” identifies him as the “bread of life,” literally “the bread that gives and sustains life” (Word Biblical Commentary). Clearly, he means spiritual rather than physical life, since he claims that “whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” He explained further: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6:51).

How do we eat of this “bread”? Billy Graham explained: “This bread satisfies the inner longings and hungers of the human heart. Have you taken of that bread? You must repent of your sins, change your mind, turn your back on sin and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.”

When we do this, we will never hunger or thirst for salvation again. Once we have eaten this bread, we never need to eat it again.

Here we find the doctrine of “eternal security,” the theological assertion that those who become Christians cannot lose their salvation. We believe this, not because we can be trusted to hold onto Jesus, but because he holds onto us: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).

Nothing in life can separate us from our Savior: “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39). Scripture is clear: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Questions about the “bread of life”

Once we have experienced salvation, there is nothing we can do to lose it. But many of us have doubts about such certainty.

What if I don’t feel close to God?

Jesus didn’t tell us how it feels to eat the “bread of life.” Nowhere does the Bible say how it feels to become a Christian. That’s because our feelings are such unreliable indicators of reality. They can be affected by the weather outside or the latest headlines or the pizza we had for supper.

What if I’m not sure I trusted in Jesus?

If you chose to eat a piece of bread for breakfast today, you’d know it. You wouldn’t have to wonder, “Did I eat bread this morning?” It’s like getting married: I’ve met thousands of married couples over the years, but not one of them was unsure of their marital status. If you have ever asked Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and become your Lord, he answered your prayer and you ate the “bread of life.” If you’re not sure you have ever made this decision, the best advice is to be sure, today.

What about sins in my life?

Jesus didn’t promise, “Whoever comes to me shall not sin.” To the contrary, the Bible teaches, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). My sons became my sons when they were born as my sons. They may not want to be my sons, or act like my sons, but nothing they can do can change the fact that they are my sons.

Are there various ways to eat the “bread of life”?

To extend Jesus’ metaphor: there are many ways to eat bread. You can bake it, or fry it, or grill it. You can make it into a loaf, or a breadstick, or a muffin. So long as it contains the necessary ingredients to be bread, the way it is made and consumed is secondary.

So it is with trusting Christ as your Lord and Savior. Some people do this as a one-time response to a gospel sermon and invitation, such as at a Billy Graham event. Others do this through a confirmation process in their church. Some do it gradually, while others do it abruptly. The important thing is to know that you have eaten this “bread,” that you have asked Jesus to forgive your sins and become your Lord. If you have, you have eternal life.

Here’s the bottom line: once you’ve eaten a piece of bread, you cannot “uneat” it. You cannot go back and undo history. If you asked Jesus to become your Savior and Lord, he answered your prayer and gave you eternal life.

If you know you have made Christ your Lord but still face doubts about your salvation, try my favorite prayer in the Bible. After a father pleads with Jesus to heal his demon-possessed boy, Jesus says, “All things are possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23). And the father exclaims, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (v. 24). You can pray that prayer today, and Jesus will hear you and help you.

Gratitude for the “bread of life”

If you have eaten of the “bread of life,” how should you respond today?

One: Share it with others.

My favorite definition of evangelism is “beggars telling beggars where they found bread.” We did nothing to earn or deserve what we have been given. But we can share with others what we have received.

Billy Graham: “A doctor in America said some time ago that more people die of loneliness and guilt and depression and insecurity and heart hunger than die of physical starvation. Bread in the Bible is the symbol of spiritual life. People all over the world are the same; they have an inborn hunger for something, and that something is Christ. People cannot be satisfied with anything less than Christ.”

When you share your faith with others, you are not imposing “your truth” on them. Rather, you are giving them what they need most, in this life and in eternity.

Two: Serve in gratitude for grace.

When I lead study tours to Israel, we usually visit an area known as the Upper Room. This is a Crusader-era building located in the vicinity of the home where Jesus took the Last Supper with his disciples.

One reason the Crusaders built their room here is that they found a very interesting sculpture in the area. It depicts a mother pelican with two baby pelicans, one on each side. The babies are eating the flesh of their mother. It was believed that in times of extreme drought and deprivation, a mother pelican would give her flesh and blood to her young. This became an early symbol of the Lord’s Supper.

What this sculpture depicts in metaphor, Jesus did in reality. He literally made his body our spiritual bread. How can we not serve him in gratitude for such grace?


Expect to face doubts about your salvation. The stronger your faith, the more likely you will be subjected to such attacks, intended by the enemy to paralyze and cripple your faith and prevent your service to God. The stronger your faith, the greater a threat you are to the enemy. Doubts sometimes come not because our faith is weak, but because it is strong.

No circumstances or events can guarantee our salvation. It takes as much faith to believe I am a Christian today as it did to become one four decades ago. I still haven’t seen God or proven my salvation in a test tube.

Either the Bible is true, or it is false. Either God keeps his word, or he does not. John 3:16 promises that whoever believes in Jesus “should not perish but have eternal life.” Present tense, right now.

You cannot lose your salvation, for you are already the immortal child of your Father in heaven. This is the assurance of God.

Why Give Thanks

Topical Scripture: John 6:1-14

There are only thirty-seven shopping days left until Christmas. If you’re wanting to get started, you might consider a giant infrared healing clam at a cost of $14,000. Or twenty-four-carat gold shoelaces for $19,000 (the silver version is “only” $3,000). Or a glass pool table for $73,000. Batman fans might spring for the Bat Golf Cart at $28,500; I’m sure that would look good tooling around the lake.

If someone you love is looking for a new car, you might consider the McLaren Elva. Only 399 are planned, so you’ll need to order one now. It has no roof, windscreen or side windows and goes for a mere $1.8 million.

In a world of such prosperity, where we have so much that we have earned and purchased and produced, why give thanks to God?

A familiar story

Our story begins: “After this Jesus crossed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias.” (v. 1). There was a “mountainside” in the area (v. 3), but also “much grass in the place” (v. 10), indicating one of the hillside areas bordering the Sea of Galilee.

Luke tells us that they “withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida” (Luke 9:10). This town was situated on the northernmost tip of the Sea of Galilee, just east of center, where the river from Lake Semochonitis empties into the Sea of Galilee.

Meanwhile, “a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick” (v. 2). “Large” translates mega, demonstrating the size of this gathering. In response, “Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples” (v. 3).

It was springtime, for “the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand” (v. 4). Then, Jesus looked up and saw “that a large crowd was coming toward him” (v. 5a). Our Lord had already spent the day with them, teaching them many things (Mark 6:34). In the course of the day, he “welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing” (Luke 9:11).

Then “Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?'” (v. 5b). Philip was from Bethsaida (John 1:44), the nearby town. The disciples had already urged Jesus to send the crowd away so the people could find food (Mark 6:35-36; Luke 9:12). But Jesus wanted to meet their need and to teach Philip a lesson as well; John tells us that “he said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do” (v. 6).

Mark quotes the disciples’ concern: “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late” (Mark 6:35). Even if bread were available, it would be extremely expensive to purchase for such a large crowd. Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite (John 6:7). This would be two hundred denarii (the literal Greek); the denarius was a Roman coin worth about eighteen cents, the usual pay for a day’s labor. As a result, we can calculate that between 5,000 and 10,000 were in the crowd.

At this point, Andrew stepped in: “One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish'” (vv. 8–9a). He had “barley loaves,” a kind of inferior bread used mainly by the very poor (cf. Ezekiel 13:19). “Loaves” were not like ours, but were flat, round sheets of bread which could be carried easily. A fried tortilla might be the closest example in our culture.

His “two fish” were small dried fish, applied to the bread as a kind of dressing. They were similar to sardines. Andrew’s question is understandable: “what are they for so many?” (v. 9b). It was all the boy had, but he gave it all to Jesus.

Our Lord responded: “Have the people sit down” (v. 10a). They sat “in groups, by hundreds and by fifties” (Mark 6:40). This was an act of faith on the part of the giant crowd as daylight faded and they had no food in sight. It was also an act of faith by the disciples, as they sat the people down for a feast which the disciples did not have to give. They reclined in the posture taken at a feast, not a fast meal on the go.

The people could do so because “there was much grass in the place” (v. 10b). As a result, “the men sat down, about five thousand in number” (v. 10c). Mark tells us that “and those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children” (Matthew 14:21). This was an astounding crowd, as the neighboring towns of Capernaum and Bethsaida probably had a population of only two to three thousand each.

An unfamiliar prayer

Then “Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted (v. 11). He would have used the typical Jewish invocation, “Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, who causes to come forth bread from the earth.”

The other gospels say that Jesus “blessed” the food (Mark 6:41; Luke 9:16; Matthew 14:19). Here we find the origin of the Christian custom of “returning thanks” or “saying the blessing.” Actually, we “ask the blessing”—we do not “bless the food,” something only God can do.

Such an attitude of gratitude is appropriate whenever we eat: “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4–5). Paul taught us: “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

After Jesus returned thanks, he “distributed them to those who were seated.” Apparently, the miracle occurred as the food was distributed, so that the disciples kept giving but did not run out until the people had “as much as they wanted.” This was a rare privilege for impoverished people who often had only enough food to survive, not enough for a feast. But Jesus met their need and more.

And all of this happened after Jesus gave thanks to God for the food he then provided.

Three life lessons

From this familiar story and unfamiliar prayer, we find these life principles:

All we have comes from the One who made all that is. The lunch was provided by the boy to the disciples, but by God to the boy. All that we have comes from the one who made everything from nothing. You and I did not earn the right to live in America rather than North Korea, or to have avoided physical handicaps others must face. Our ability to work and produce comes from the God who enables all work and production. Every breath we take is his gift.

A skeptic told God he could make a better world than the Lord could. The Lord accepted his challenge. The skeptic stooped down and scooped up some dirt to get started. God said, “Get your own dirt.”

Giving thanks for what we do not have positions us to receive what God will provide. Jesus gave thanks for this feast before it became a feast. He thanked God in advance for what God would provide. When we face challenges, we should do the same. As we thank God for what he will do, we position ourselves to receive his best.

C. S. Lewis solved a mystery for me regarding prayer. It seemed illogical that we should pray about what has already happened or has not yet happened. But Lewis points out that God is not bound by time. Thus, a prayer you offer today was known to him three years ago and may have been part of what he did then. The same with prayers today and events in the future.

When we thank God for what he will do, our prayers become part of what he does. Public gratitude leads others to faith in the God we thank. Jesus’ prayer of gratitude was heard by the disciples and all who were present. When they saw the miracle that followed, “they began to say, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world'” (v. 14).

Five thousand families saw him give thanks to God for what God had not yet done, then receive all that God would do. His attitude of gratitude would mark their lives for the rest of their lives.

If people see you giving thanks for what God has done or for what he has not yet done, they will be marked by your attitude of gratitude. Some you may never know will know your faith, and they may make it their own.


Why should you develop a greater attitude of gratitude? Why give thanks to God for what you have, when you worked hard for it? Why thank him ahead of time for what he has not yet done?

Because all we have comes from the God who made it; giving thanks positions us to receive God’s best; and others will see our faith and may come to our Lord.

For what are you thankful today? For what should you be thankful today?

Will you make time each day across this thanksgiving season to experience the power of gratitude?

I am reminded of A. O. Collins, my major professor in college and one of the most gracious and grateful souls I have ever known. No matter what he was going through, from his wife’s Parkinson’s disease to his various physical challenges, he lived every day with smiling grace. I never saw him have a “bad” day.

One time, he was traveling back to Houston late at night and stopped at a rest area. He was attacked by a knife-wielding robber who cut his face and hands. He came to school the next day wearing bandages placed by the emergency room where he spent much of the night.

We were all shocked and grieved, but Dr. Collins had his usual smile. “Well,” he explained, “I’m glad he only took my wallet and not my life.” He was grateful for what he had rather than angry for what he lost.

Let’s join him.