So it's Thanksgiving week.
Sometimes, our hearts explode with gratitude. At other times, we cringe at the word.
Just proclaiming that this is Thanksgiving, does not make us thankful. We've been told to give thanks. This isn't a commandment to have good manners or to be a nice guest. It is an admonition to give thanks to the great, giving, God of the universe. In all situations. In the grittiness of life. Not just at Thanksgiving! Not even mainly at Thanksgiving.
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18
We often wonder what God's will is in our lives. God's will for us is many things but, clearly, it is this one thing: to give thanks in everything. That's pretty all-compassing - in every season, regardless of our emotions, in spite of (or because of!) our hurts, an act of obedience. An opening of our sometimes weary eyes and straining to see - something - anything - everything. It is a looking within and probing our hearts to feel the magnitude of the grace. And the cost of our salvation. And the glory of His generosity. He commands us to give thanks so that we can see aright.
Giving thanks is not an emotion. It's a determined act of appreciation. An honest expression of gratitude can sometimes stir up our emotions to come along. But it's okay to be sadly thankful. To be wearily grateful. God knows.
If being thankful is something we've been told to do - then, certainly, it is something we can do! And so - as with every other need - we ask. We ask God to help us to give thanks. Not in a token way. But in a broken way. In the awareness that always - ALWAYS - there is something for which I am grateful.
So, we ask humbly ask God to give us one more thing.
"Thou that has given so much to me
give me one thing more,
a grateful heart:
not thankful when it pleaseth me,
as if Thy blessings had spare days,
but such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise."
- George Herbert
(quoted in The Friend - a Religious and Literary Journal, Vol. 53, No. 18. p. 140)
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If you'd like to make your own collection of Sage Sayings, I'm posting printable versions on my Resource page. Print them out - post them on a clipboard, or slap them into your journal, or stick them in a card, or frame them to display. Simple words can stir our hearts!