“On journey to becoming whole-hearted followers of Jesus”
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name…” Psalm 92:1
A woman was always able to find something for which she was thankful. For example: one morning there was a terrible snowstorm that nearly paralyzed the city, but she still showed up for work on time. She was thankful. Her supervisor was surprised to see her, and was equally surprised to hear that she was thankful to have made it to work in such a storm. When asked why she was so thankful she said that she was grateful that she lived so close to work and didn’t have to drive. Her supervisor still did not understand how she could even walk on the icy sidewalks with the wind blowing so harshly. She replied that she was so thankful that she could crawl to work on her hands and knees. Well obviously, the supervisor was astounded! “What is so wonderful about crawling to work on your hands and knees?” the supervisor asked. The woman smiled and said, “During the blizzard’s early morning light, no one was able to see me!” (Michael Hodgin, p 324)
The practice of giving thanks is something that is essential in the journey of faith. No matter the circumstances or the events surrounding our lives, we are encouraged to be a thankful people. While it is important to express our gratitude for the abundant blessings that God has graced our lives with, I find it refreshing that in many instances, the Old Testament song writers were thankful for the character of the God who loved them. It is one thing to be thankful for what he has done, another thing entirely to be thankful for who he is. Look at this brief sampling:
Give thanks to His name (Ps 44:8) – the name that is above every name; the name that causes every creature in the universeto bow down.
Give thanks for his goodness (Ps 106:1)—the way that the Almighty always treats us, with absolute and pure goodness, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
Give thanks for his lovingkindness (Ps 107:15)—not a word used with any frequency in our culture, but one that encompasses the total reality of love in action!
Give thanks for his word (Ps 119:62)—that he cares so much for us that He is willing to constantly communicate with us.
Give thanks for His truth (Ps 138:2)—in an age where truth telling is optional at best, it is reassuring to know that when God speaks, it is authentic, accurate, and completely trustworthy.
Just a small excurses of what I find in scripture concerning the nature and character of the God who has rescued us from the domain of darkness and has brought us into the marvelous light of his son. As we enter the month known for thanksgiving (though in all fairness to a life of faith, each month should be so inclined), I want to encourage you to ponder the character of God as you have experienced him. You might find words like good, faithful, kind, loving, gracious, and merciful that clearly identifies your encounters with the loving God. All of them have value, all of them are redeeming to our journey of faith. Make your expressions known to Him. Write a poem or a song, create a work of art, make a journal entry, or sit in silence with a single word to offer to Him—however you find expression to your gratitude, set aside time to share it with Him. Words of gratitude should be spoken around our table of feast; words of gratitude can occupy center stage in our normal activities of life.
You may not have to crawl on your hands and knees to get to work in a raging snowstorm, but you can adopt the same attitude of appreciation for the One who loves you beyond all understanding. By the way, I’m thankful for His patience. I think if I had a child like me, I would be frustrated more often than not!!! Just saying!!
Have a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.
Growing with you on the Journey, Pastor Dewayne