Thursday, November 27, 2014

A thanksgiving post...

I am so incredibly greatful for my wonderful family and friends that I love! I am thankful for my amazing husband, who is there for me through all of life's ups and downs. I am blessed to be part of a church family that is growing and striving to share God's love. I have a job that helps provide for my family. I have a warm house to live in. I have clean, running water and food every day.  #blessed #thankful #thanksgiving 

Done. Bam. Thanksgiving post 2014, check. 

Where's the turkey? 

Hmm. But as I sit and think about it some more, it feels like something is missing. Is what I typed true? Yes, I suppose I feel those things... Sometimes. But do I truly feel that way right now, this second? Honestly, no. No I don't.  
What's wrong with me? It's Thanksgiving day for goodness sake! WHY AM I NOT THANKFUL RIGHT NOW?! 

So I did a little research. (By research I mean I asked Siri, and did a Google search, it is 2014...)

Here is the definition I found for "thankful": 
  1. Aware and appreciative of a benefit; grateful.

  2. Expressive of gratitude.

    a thankful smile.

Hmm. I suppose I am aware of the blessings I have in my life. But it is more than just awareness- the second definition implies it's about expressing that gratitude. 

So, I know about all the amazing things in my life, awareness, and I wrote a blog post about it,  expression.  I must be thankful. 

I argue that thankfulness must be more than this. I suppose the "thankful smile" part of the definition alludes to what's missing. 

The word "thankful" appears in the bible 7 times. The phrase "give thanks" appears 33 times. That's 40 times the subject is brought up. After reading all the verses I found some themes. 

1. Thanks is always given to GOD. 
It is more than just expressing your thankfulness by saying or writing, or singing what you are thankful for. Our thanks should be offered up to our Lord and saviour, the God of the universe, our Father.  Almost always the complete phrase is "Give thanks to The Lord" not just give thanks. 

2. Thanks is given for who God is, and what God has done. 
Most expressions of thanks in the Bible are for the person and works of God. Thanks is given for the attributes of God: "For he is good", "his love endures forever," "The one who is, and was," "the most high," "The Lord of Lords."  Thanks is given for what God does: "His wonderful deeds for men," "his gracious favor."   

So let's sum that up. Thanks is given to God for who he is, and what he has done.   

Giving thanks is a form of WORSHIP. 

Giving thanks is a way for us to be in worship with God, we can commune with God through thankfulness.  Thankfulness, then, is a matter of the heart. It's not about the things or people in our lives, it's not about writing a Facebook post.  

So what's wrong with me? Why am I not feeling thankful right now? I suppose part of it is the fact that I am away from my Immediate family for the first time in my whole life, part of it is the struggle to find joy I am currently going through in this season in life. 
But more, I think, it is because I have been leaving God out of today. But how could I even attempt at being in a state of thankfulness, without first, entering the presence of God?   So, let's try this again... 

Lord of the universe. You are the creator of the galaxies, yet you know me. It is because of you that each day  comes, yet you know each of my days. It is amazing to me, that you love me so deeply, and so completely, that you gave the ultimate sacrifice to have an eternal relationship with me.  Because of you, I can be found pure. Because of you, I can experience joy.  You have provided everything I could need. You have provided love, through family and friends, when I felt lonely. You have provided jobs and a home for us.  I am so in awe of who you are, and all you have done for me. I look back on my life, and in all things, I see that you have been with me. Through the pain of loss, through darkness of depression, through the joy of marriage, through the wonder of travels... In every season, you have been there, in every season to come, you will be there.  Thank you for being with me. Please continue to hold my heart, and help me to realize all of the amazing things you do.