Charles Colson speaks of a time before he was a believer when he was on a lake in New Hampshire sailing with his two sons. His ten year old, Christian, had just taken the sheet for the first time and was so excited you could see his eyes light up. Out of no where Colson had this thought: “Thank you, God, for giving me this son—for giving us this one wonderful moment.” Colson then went on to tell God that if I were to die tomorrow, he would have felt that his life had been fulfilled. Colson writes: “When I realized what I had done, I was startled. I had no intention of trying to talk to God, whoever He was—if He did exist and was even knowable. I was certainly not intellectually convinced that God existed. But I had to admit that I was simply overcome with gratitude for that unforgettably rich experience with my son Chris, and I needed to thank someone—God.”
There are many intellectual proofs that God exists, gratitude being one of them. Believers and non-believers alike get that rush as they stand by the ocean, look across a mountain range or marvel at a sunset. There is a contentment and a desire to express thanks. As believers we know that this was all created by the Lord… who made us… “his people, the sheep of his pasture.” (100:3) We can enter into His presence with joy and thanksgiving. One quick way back from fear to joy in a believer’s life is through thanks-giving. When our hearts are delighted… we just have to exalt our creator. We were made for this kind of joy!
Colson finds this connection to be evidence for the existence of the Almighty. He concludes: “What moved me that day to talk to God was an overwhelming sense of gratitude for that incredibly joyous experience. Gratitude, I have discovered, is built into everyone of us, as much a universal human characteristic as guilt. When you wake up in the morning, lift the window, feel the fresh spring breezes, and see the sun rising in the east, aren’t you filled with graditude? I am grateful every day that I’m alive, grateful that I have a wonderful family, grateful that I have a purpose in life. Can you imagine believing that you didn’t? If there’s nothing out there except a great vacuum, why should you feel grateful for anything?” (The Good Life, p. 272.)
Does God exist? There is more than enough proof available for the seeking heart that is filled with gratitude.