As I began my meditations on thanks, these questions popped to the top of those worthy of musing. When I think of thanksgiving, normally a list begins to form in my head---all those things for which I am thankful. Perhaps there should first be an explanation of the whys before I embark upon the exercise of the numbered lists.
What spirit is indicative of true thankfulness? Surely a humble heart is needed to express real thanks. An acknowledgement of gifts which I do not deserve, could never earn, and would not have without someone giving them to me-making them all possible. The prayer, "Thank you, Father for the food I have planted, I have tended, I have grown, I have prepared, and which I am about to eat," somehow misses the mark of thanks. Forgotten is the miracle of nature--that allows the very process, the rain which fell from the heavens, the sun necessary for the growth, and the very dirt where it is planted. We all tend to take far more credit than we deserve for all the blessings we have received. Man loves to sit upon the throne, receive the gold trophy, and proudly boast of all his accomplishments. We are all guilty.
Then I thought of the times I was absolutely dragging--in the depths of depression--and sure my world had collapsed. Getting my eyes off my navel--even when times truly were bad--the worst---and remembering all I do have to be thankful for is the best cure for the dumps I have ever known. There are man-made remedies which help, but God's sure fire cure of a thankful heart is a permanent elixir for that which emotionally ails you.
Thankfulness acknowledges there is one greater than me to whom I owe gratitude for those blessings which only could have come from Him. Thankfulness is the beginning of true worship. Thankfulness is the recognition of God's omnipotence and our dependence upon Him. Though God does not need our thanks and praise, He is well pleased when we remember to thank Him and begin the process of recognition of who He is..
So before I begin a list--before I give you 3 good points and a good ending--I confess my unworthiness and God's great love. I am thankful He loves me in spite of my arrogance and dissatisfaction. I am thankful for His patience with my half hearted thanks. I am thankful He is my God.
Give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I Thessalonians 5:18