As I walked through my day, I found myself repeating, “Thank you”, to clerks and those who helped me, no matter how insignificant the help was. Then I wondered, Are my ‘thank you’s’ a habit, or was I truly grateful? Grateful??? How odd. Does a Grateful rate more than a thank you? Is there a scale by which we can tell the difference?
During a Bible Study in RCC (Rogers), we were having prayer time. The prayer requests range from Aunt Fanny’s gout to the stay in the hospital for Granny. Then our minister asked for praises. Silence enveloped the room. No one could think of a single praise. Finally one lady prefacing her ‘praise’ with, “This isn’t very big, but I love to sit on my porch and pray where I can smell the honeysuckle blooms.” This opened a flood of ‘small’ praises. No gift is ever too small to be grateful to the Ultimate Giver.
It's a Honeysuckle Day when....
...The sun shines and breezes rise
...The clouds play peek-a-boo in the skies
...I give God all the praise
...For each gift, all my days.
It's a Honeysuckle Day when...
...My family is all around
...And God's joy abounds.
...I sit as quiet as can be
...And all His glory I see.
It's a Honeysuckle Day when...
...I pray to my Father above
...So thankful for His sacrificial love.
...I know without a doubt
...What life is all about.
It's living for Jesus
.....Serving Him, with Him I stay
.....Though darkness clouds my way
.....I give praise for my Honeysuckle Days.
In this era of anger, cruel words and physical abuse, True Gratitude is rare.
Much less utilizing an absent-minded, ‘thank you’. Last Sunday, our minister, Randy, gave us a thought, “Gratitude is not an act of etiquette, it is an act of worship.” That is the essence of our gratefulness. It is not to prime the pump of the giver or to repay the giver. Gratitude is an act of thankfulness in all humility.
During the time that Mom spent in the hospital with colon cancer, she was concerned about all the remembrances, prayers and gifts given to her. She wanted to give back and couldn’t. It was difficult for her to learn to be the recipient and just be grateful for the love that was poured out upon her.
Recognizing that for which we are thankful as a gift is the premise of one of my favorite books by Anne Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts. Ann gives thanks for the many gifts all around her – the sunset, the sunrise, the harvest, kneading bread for a hungry family, those around the kitchen table, each child and the music of rain falling. When you consider the gifts she is thankful for, their genesis is from God.
We used to play a game when our children were small…. We would name any object that we saw in the room, and play, “Where did that come from?” Each time, following the succession of “Where did that come from?”, the answers go back to a gift from God. That makes the statement from freedictionary.com behind the times:
The freedictionary.com proclaims, The word "thank" comes from the Old English word "thancian" (to give thanks). "Thank you" is attested from circa 1400, short for "I thank you."
I wonder if Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden were grateful for their lovely garden? Did they recognize their gift of home. Do we? Sometimes it is the hindsight that makes things clear to us. It is then we are able to see the hand of God in our lives. The God of Love. The God of Sacrifice. The Eternal One is our all in all, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega of all life.
What has God given us? What am I grateful for? First and foremost, Hope and Salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. God has given us his Son because of His love for us, we who are created by Him. The evidences of His Glory and Love surround us. Yesterday on our journey to keep three appointments with three doctors for my dear husband, there were no less than five strangers who smiled and wished us a “Happy Thanksgiving!” Each time, it was a gift!
No matter how difficult a day is, no matter how trying, hanging on to God’s Hand fills me with gratitude and joy to be His. I love the scripture in Revelation 5:8 that declares: and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Our prayers are not useless for there is no Circular File 13 in Heaven!
"If God does something in your life, would you change it? If you'd change it, you'd make it worse. …" James Montgomery Boise.
In this week of Thanksgiving, and every day, we remember to be thankful to God. - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15
God is good….all the time….