I love Thanksgiving. In the Eller family it is a feast with at least 100 to 150 family members showing up. This is an actual table from our last Thanksgiving. It’s just one desert table (there were four), not counting the meat table, the salad table, the side dish table. Crazy, huh?
But to live free is not about this kind of thanksgiving, but rather thanks giving.
In Psalm 100:4 the Psalmist encourages us to enter into His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.
The gates and courts he is speaking about are areas where only priests could enter. But after Christ came, that changed.
When give thanks we enter in to that special place of intimacy with God. It draws us close, in spite of our feelings or circumstances.
What might happen if for the next 24 hours you and I offered nothing but thanks giving?
A child talks back.
Thank you, God, for this child. Thank you that you offer wisdom to know how to shape his heart, to teach him, to love him. Thank you that you are patient with me when I fight with you. Thank you that all of this will one day reap a harvest as my son or daughter grows and matures. Thank you for the good times. Thank you for allowing me to see good in my child, just as you do me.
The bank account is low.
Thank you God, for food. For shelter. For health. For friends. For laughter. Thank you that you are my provider. Thank you for these beans and cornbread, and Lord, bless those who don’t have this. Meet their needs. Show me ways I can give to others.
A marriage is in trouble.
Thank you, God, that you heal a wounded heart. Thank you that you can create miracles where none seem possible. Thank you for my spouse. Thank you for the love that we once had. Thank you for the good things he or she has done. Thank you that you love my spouse, even when it seems that I cannot. Thank you that you will lead us to help. That you hear the cry of the heartbroken. Thank you that you carry burdens too big for me to carry alone.
Whatever the situation, you take your focus off of the mountain and begin to place it on God. And you enter a place of closeness with your Heavenly Father. That alone infuses you with faith, and with direction. It empowers you right where you are.
To live free: Give thanks.
Scripture: Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. Psalms 100:4
Today: For the next 24 hours, substitute thanks giving for angst or complaints. Surprise yourself with the words you offer to God.