Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I am not a massive foodie. Don’t get me wrong I like family meals together not so much because I like food but because I love family. Between the Christmas Creep and the Black Friday Seep I think many of us have forgotten that giving thanks is more than a holiday is an act of our will. It’s the result of a heart that is regenerated.
One of the greatest disciplines we can master is thankfulness. The reason thankfulness is so telling is because it reveals much about how we view ourselves and how we view God. Growing up we didn’t have a ton of money but we had much to be thankful for. Even thought I was a very thankful person in most situations as I got older however I started to view my walk with God in such a way that I felt God was lucky to have me. I was thankful but thankful for the wrong things. I still to this day remember the day my me-centered version of my faith came crashing down around me. It was horrible, it was painful and it was beautiful. I realized for the first time that my salvation is a work that Christ has done for me not a mental decision I make. I realized that the works I do are through the grace that He provides. When you understand that everyone we have is because all he is you understand He owes me nothing! He owes me nothing! I owe him everything! It is out of this understand that we can truly be grateful for all that we have. We live in a state of perpetual gratitude because we didn’t do anything but respond to His calling and receive the gift that He gave.
The more I see Jesus as my everything the more I operate from a place of gratitude. The minute I see what I have done the more I live from a place of entitlement when I don’t get what I feel I deserve I get angry at the person I feel owes me. I did that. I now am understanding more and more the freedom gratitude brings because He owes me nothing and I owe him everything.
Love these two verse from the hymn “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing” I can’t sing these words enough nor can I read them enough –
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
What I am thankful for is that I am a sinner that is in desperate need of savior. The second I lose site of that is the second He becomes my debtor.