Thanksgiving is also for us
Continuing last week’s post on Thankfulness:
A previous spiritual director once told me, “Dave, when God gives us a command, it is either to protect us or to provide for us.” The Bible is filled with strong encouragements to give thanks. This past weekend I was reading Psalm 50 which says, Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Psalm 50:14 (NRSV)
Thanksgiving is a command, a sacrifice, and God seems pretty serious about our need to give thanks. This is where I think it gets pretty interesting. God certainly deserves our thanksgiving. He is good, faithful, full of patience, and rich in mercy. In Him there is no shadow. He is the giver of every good and perfect thing. Yet, what if God’s desire for us to have thankful hearts is because of His love for us?
One of my daily devotionals is from the app goTandem in which one of the contributors named Silas writes, …good to dream, but there is such a difference in texture between dreams, which are all liquid and large and pastel-colored, and worries, which are all sandpaper and corners and squeezed teeth.
I love the grit and tangibility of those lines. “Worries are all sandpaper and corners and squeezed teeth.” It’s true you know. Our grumbling and our worries don’t help us. They cause us to stress, to stumble; to run our hurried lives as a hamster on the wheel. It doesn’t get us anywhere… we just spin.
Thankfulness lifts our heads from the mire. The psalmist paints it this way: I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1 (NRSV) The word thanks or thanksgiving isn’t implicitly listed, but it’s there, inked in the spaces of what it means to lift our eyes to the One who helps us.
On a personal note, thanksgiving isn’t easy for me. I’m far more prone to thinking and dwelling on what I don’t have or what isn’t the way I want it. But, I’m growing. It’s often baby steps, but it’s progress. I’m thankful for redemption, for second chances, and chances into the double digits. I’m thankful that God never gives up. I’m thankful for grace. And, at the end of the day, I know that I’m a blessed man.
When I think that way, I feel better. My eyes lifted up, my heart lighter, and I’m living the way God intended me to live. Grateful. Open. Thankful.
Til next time,