Not long ago I came across an incredible story about a Colorado boy, Robby Smith. On March 3, 2009 Robby was just a toddler when he fell into a creek near his house. It just so happened that when the emergency call was placed that that a fire engine was passing right by the creek where Robby was drowning. When rescuers arrived, Robby was unconscious and hypothermic. His life was hanging by a thread. Amazingly, first responders were able to resuscitate Robby with CPR and rescuers got him to the hospital where he fully recovered.
Now, several years later as an eight-year old, Robby told his mother that he wanted search for the brave men and women who saved his life that day. Robby was reunited with the team who pulled him from the creek and standing before them with tear-filled eyes the boy said, “I just wanted to say thank you, because of you I am alive today.” One of the firemen who was interviewed commented that this was the first instance he could personally recall of a rescue victim coming back just to say, “Thanks.”
Robby and team who rescued him.
A future firefighter?
Robby didn’t have to work himself into a thanksgiving mode, because he understood what it was like to be saved from death. How much more should this kind of gratitude apply to us, as those who have been saved from sin and Satan by our Lord Jesus. Gratitude is the firstborn child of grace. When was the last time you knelt before your Lord and said, “Jesus, I don’t want to ask you for anything today, I just want to thank you for saving a sinner like me.”
In Colossians 1:12-14 Paul makes the connection between our experience of grace and our expression of gratitude, “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (emphasis mine)
What could be better than to be plucked from the fire, born-again, forgiven from sin and heaven-bound? Too many times we forget that as God’s blood-bought church we are wealthier than the Wall Street fat cats. Spiritually, we are co-heirs with Christ and recipients of a heavenly inheritance that cannot be taken away by disaster, depression, disease or even death.
When you received Christ, you became a stockholder in the riches of heaven and the benefits are out of this world! In an instant, you received a redeemer in heaven and the promise of a residence in heaven, a resurrection body in heaven and one day, a glad reunion in heaven.
Donald Whitney wrote in his book Spiritual Disciplines: “God has never done anything greater for anyone, nor could He do anything greater for you, than bring you to Himself. Suppose He put ten million dollars into your bank account every morning for the rest of your life, but He didn’t save you? Suppose He gave you the most beautiful body and face of anyone who ever lived, a body that never aged for a thousand years, but then at death He shut you out of Heaven and into hell for eternity? What has God ever given anyone that could compare with the salvation He has given to you as a believer? Do you see that there is nothing God could ever do for you or give to you greater than the gift of Himself? If we cannot be thankful to Him who is everything and in whom we have everything, what will make us grateful?”
 NICOLE PELLETIERE, “Boy Seeks First Responders Who Saved His Life as a Toddler to Thank Them,” ABC NEWS, 23 February 2016 <http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/boy-seeks-responders-saved-life-toddler/story?id=37117751>
 Donald Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2014), 146.