The act of gratitude itself exposes our most humbling quality….need. In opposition to our darkest heart, full of pride and false self-esteem, we acknowledge that we have need someone else has met for us. It tells them and us that we are lacking. It acknowledges that another has helped us by paying a debt we were unable or at best, unwilling to pay.
Perhaps that is why thankfulness is hard for us. It seems we would rather give than receive, not so much for a spirit of generosity, but rather a spirit of self-sufficiency, the death of many. In our act of thanks however, we find a lifeline for our souls. For God himself declares that He draws near, like a mother to her crying baby, those that humble themselves before Him. Strangely, we find this difficult, as if our small self with dirty hands and darkened hearts are able to match the infinite power of Him. His vast treasure chest of blessings spills over the tops of heaven on us. We wear those blessings, thinking all the while our hard work and smarts accomplished them.
But in the moment of gratitude to the Father, one can feel His presence rush to us encircle us and infuse us as we humbly tell Him, “You, great King, are the giver of every good gift.”
So thanks be to our God….
…….for tangible gifts that will one day burn to ash. Give us hands to hold these things loosely. May we enjoy without becoming ensnared in the glitter.
………for family. These are deepest, most difficult and most loving relationships we experience. May we understand the treasure of flesh and blood. May we embrace the good and the bad, celebrating our thanks in the midst of chaos, laughing, eating and teasing. May we whisper thanks inside the warm embrace of those we love.
…….for changed plans. How freeing to know I have a master plan engraved in His hands. He carefully directs my steps watching over every pitfall to protect me from disaster. When my carefully written plan with pencil and paper crumples in the wind He laughs and unfurls a detailed blueprint that outlines my comings and goings to the second. He does not let me see even the end of today’s work, but gently reminds me we are building a hope and a future.
……for hope. For the most undeserving, He has granted the greatest treasures. With nothing to offer Him but imperfect love and faltering faith, He abundantly gives unfailing love and infuses my faith with His power. This infused faith then can receive His salvation and His hope for the days to come.
Gratitude is the power to bring God near. May we face down acknowledge our neediness and His sufficiency. May we understand the beauty of humbleness. Thanks be to our God who always causes us to triumph!