Saturday, November 18, 2023

Destined to Be Creatures of Thanksgiving

(Montana Rockies - Bozeman Pass)

The older I get, the more thankful I am becoming. Giving thanks is habitual. I often find myself saying, to myself, or out loud in a whisper, "Thank you God."

This happens several times a day. I think of something God has done for me, I see something he has given me, and reflexively the words rise up and come out of me.

I wake in the morning and say "Thank You" for waking in the morning and moving into a new day.

Dallas Willard, before he went to be with Jesus, was grateful. Gary Moon describes Willard's last words. 

"At 4:30 a.m. a nurse came in to turn Dallas in the bed. Her visit awakened [Dallas’ good friend Gary Black who was in the hospital room with him]. Moving Dallas awakened him too. Gary took Dallas’s hand. Dallas turned to him and told him to tell his loved ones how much he was blessed by them and how much he appreciated them. … Then, as Gary described, “In a voice clearer than I had heard in days, he leaned his head back slightly and with his eyes closed said, ‘Thank you.’” Gary did not feel that Dallas was talking to him, but to another presence that Dallas seemed to sense in the room. And those were the last words of Dallas Willard. “Thank you,” he said, to a very present and then finally visible to him God."
Gary Moon, Becoming Dallas Willard (IVP, 2018), page 240

Gratitude is moving from volition to embodiment. This is good. I am being prepared.

In the great throne room scene of Revelation 4, the awesome four living creatures are spotlighted, as they levitate around the throne of God. They give splendor to the One who sits on the throne. I am destined to do the same. I am being prepped for full-being God-glorification. The creatures give value to him who occupies the throne. I have the same destiny. I am being shaped into a God-honoring creature.

The four living creatures give thanks. 

An eternal outpouring of gratitude. 

I will one day join this mighty chorus! 

I am being mentored in this, by the Holy Spirit.

All I am meant to be is summed up in the great outpouring of glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne and lives for ever and ever. (Revelation 4:9)

This outpouring of magnification is too much for the twenty-four elders. The threefold amplification of the four living creatures drops the elders to their knees before the Lord, and they worship him. (Revelation 4:10)

Listen, all you who are in Christ! This is your transcendent destiny, which, in your current immanent embodiment, you are being schooled for. 

To be creatures who radiate glory, display honor, and sing thanksgiving to the God who reigns for ever and ever. To be, as C.S. Lewis once said, "everlasting splendors."

Thank you.