Sunday, November 20, 2016

When Giving Thanks Becomes Instinctual

The River Raisin in my back yard

When giving thanks to God descends from your mind into your heart it has become instinctual. Throughout the day you find yourself saying, "Thank you, God." It happened this morning. I found myself taking a deep breath, and then - instinctively - saying "Thank you, God, for life."

I don't take this for granted. Many of my journal entries over the years record "Thank you, God" moments.

Psalm 9:1-2 reads:

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
    I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.


Here David the psalmist is oppressed by enemy forces, but God shows up to defeat them. This causes David to give thanks, with all his heart. His thanksgiving goes public as David openly testifies to God's "wonderful deeds." All this happens in an atmosphere of gladness and praise.

I make lists of God's wonderful acts and deeds, done to me and Linda. I have written them down in an email, and sent the email to myself. It's not that I'm so e-barren that I need more emails. It's just that I don't want to forget the many things God has done for me, for which I am deeply grateful. 

I have an ever-looping email I call THANKFULNESS. I keep adding to the list of things I am thankful for, only to reply to myself with these things again and again.

When I re-read my thanks-list it gives birth to more thanksgiving "with all my heart."

As you pray, enumerate things you are thankful for.

Then, thank God for them.

*****
DATE _______________________

God, I thank you for...

1. ___________________________________________________________

2. ___________________________________________________________

3. ___________________________________________________________

4. ___________________________________________________________

5. ___________________________________________________________

6. ___________________________________________________________

7. ___________________________________________________________

8. ___________________________________________________________

9. ___________________________________________________________

10. __________________________________________________________