It is a terrible thing to feel gratitude and have no one to thank, to feel awe and have no one to worship. – Philip Yancey
Agreed. Today, I’m thankful that I know who to thank. I’m thankful that I have direct access to Him through Christ.
I don’t want to miss this reminder. The word thanksgiving’ is scribbled on my calendar. I want to thank. Him. Specifically. Before the sun goes down tomororw, I’m going to challenge myself to get alone with God and thank Him for 2-3 specific examples of each of the things below:
1. The ways God has shown Himself. These are those big splashy obvious things that God has done this past year. There the things I prayed for, and then I saw them happen. What are 2-3 ways you’ve seen God do this for you this year?
2. The places He has stayed hidden. There are so many prayers that I have laid at God’s feet this year that have been answered in ways that are not quite in line with my specifications. I think it’s important that we thank Him for that. I’m going to take some time today to look back through old prayers and find a couple that I am deeply thankful God didn’t answer in the way I wanted.
3. The places of victory. Sanctification is a really slow process. I want to look for the small victories that can encourage me that it’s actually happening. Where are the places God is working under the surface? Where the changes are so subtle that I might miss them?
4. The places of failure. I hate that my heart doesn’t fully reflect the truth of God because of my sin, but I’m also thankful for the constant reminders of my need to repent and my reliance on the Cross. May God protect me from a year when I forget my dependence on His blood and desperate need for His grace. I want to thank Him for 2-3 specific examples of where my failure has caused me to lean into His Gospel more deeply. I’m not thanking Him for my sin. I’m thanking Him for the ways He has displayed His grace against the backdrop of my weakness.
5. The places where peeps have come through. I’m so thankful for my sweet and great community. This year, maybe more than any ever, has been filled with an abundance of laughter, challenge, growth and perseverance through community. It’s going to be an easy and fun task to think back on a couple of moments from this year when God has shown me more of His grace and love through the grace and love of my friends.
6. The places where peeps have failed. As I’ve said before, I’m so thankful that my community has revealed their inability to climb into my heart and bring value and worth to places that His blood alone can salvage. So today and tomorrow I’ll take some time to think of 2-3 specific moments when their refusal to save me has led me to get more of God. And I’ll thank Him for those moments.
There’s a lot to be thankful for, I’m praying for you and for me that we wouldn’t just say that and toss a glance Heavenward. Let’s redeem tomorrow. Let’s seize this opportunity to be specific with God and sing His praises through our gratitude.