Monday, November 25, 2013

Recognizing the Giver

I recently facilitated a 6-wk Bible Study at our church. It was a video series by Ann Voskamp based on her book, One Thousand Gifts.  The study draws our attention to giving thanks in all things, living in the moment of each day, accepting all as gifts from God to us.  The sub-title is "A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are."  It was a life-changing study for me.  Opened my eyes and my spirit to a whole new perspective to life.

During the course of the study, a few of the ladies brought to my attention some articles they found in some secular women's magazines on thanksgiving.  They were fairly good articles regarding our need to cultivate an "attitude of gratitude" and how that can change our perspective.  I think these articles are pretty typical of what you find this time of year; it's definitely a seasonal thing.  Thanksgiving is in November, so naturally our thoughts and attention would be more drawn to giving thanks.

But the thing I noticed about all of these articles is there was no mention of WHO we were expressing that gratitude to!!  If there is no WHO, then for what reason are we giving thanks?  Because it will make us happier people?  Because it changes our perspective?  What is the point in that?  Isn't that ultimately selfish?

The object of giving thanks is not just in being thankful or cultivating a grateful attitude - but it's in acknowledging the Giver of those gifts; the Giver of those very things, people, etc that we are thankful for.  The object of giving thanks is seeing God's hand extended to us in all things and recognizing regardless of whether life is good or hard at any given time, that the Giver - God himself, incarnate in the person of Jesus, is always good and we are always loved.  It is in recognizing that very fact, that we can be thankful regardless of the situation we find ourselves in.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.
Hebrews 13:8
As we walk through our day, asking God to open our eyes and hearts to see all the gifts He places before us each day, our hearts become filled with His love for us and they ultimately turn back to Him in grateful thanksgiving, acknowledging that love and returning it to him in thanksgiving.  It is HE who is the Giver of ALL things and His desire is for us to turn our hearts to Him, abide in Him, in the midst of ALL - even the hard eucharisteo (thanksgiving).  This deepens our relationship with Him and THAT is the point!  Getting to know Him better, responding to Him, letting Him into our hearts in a deeper, more intimate way.
"O give thanks unto the LORD; for HE is good: for HIS mercy endureth for ever." 
(emphasis mine)
Psalm 136:1
Give Thanks!
Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart!
Give Thanks to the Giver!


No comments:

Post a Comment