Thanksgiving.

Thankgiving

We have so much to be thankful for. Every aspect of life, every breath is a gift. Thanksgiving is a reminder that we are limited and God is limitless in Love and provision to us and for us. When I think of all that God has given me the thing I realize I need most is a grateful heart. God has given so much to me the only thing I need more of is gratitude.

In his final stanza, Herbert says this.

Not thankful, when it pleaseth me;
As if thy blessings had spare days:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise.

This is so convicting because often my thankfulness is conditional on when “It pleases me” rather than thanksgiving being a reflexive action that leads to praise. Happy Thanksgiving. May your thankfulness and mine not be limited to just statements of thanks but I pray that we would see beyond the gift to the giver and be moved to praise.

Below is the full poem by George Herbert. Herbert is a gift. I rarely read one of his poems without being moved deeply by his understanding of himself and his fellow man as well as his understanding of the God who saved him. I pray on this Thanksgiving day as you read you are filled with thanksgiving and moved to worship.

GRATEFULNESS

by George Herbert (1593- 1633)

Thou that hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, a grateful heart.
See how thy beggar works on thee
By art.

He makes thy gifts occasion more,
And says, If he in this be crossed,
All thou hast given him heretofore
Is lost.

But thou didst reckon, when at first
Thy word our hearts and hands did crave,
What it would come to at the worst
To save.

Perpetual knockings at thy door,
Tears sullying thy transparent rooms,
Gift upon gift, much would have more,
And comes.

This not withstanding, thou wenst on,
And didst allow us all our noise:
Nay thou hast made a sigh and groan
Thy joys.

Not that thou hast not still above
Much better tunes, than groans can make;
But that these country-airs thy love
Did take.

Wherefore I cry, and cry again;
And in no quiet canst thou be,
Till I a thankful heart obtain
Of thee:

Not thankful, when it pleaseth me;
As if thy blessings had spare days:
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise.