I went on a quest. A quest to uncover the deeper meaning of “giving thanks”.
I thought I understood what “giving thanks” meant. It is a tradition tied to Thanksgiving, yet is a horribly underrated discipline during the rest of the year.
This Thanksgiving panned out to be quite chaotic. I got married the week before Thanksgiving, give or take a few days. It was a GREAT idea. The time leading up to the wedding was stressful which was predicted by many veterans. In the middle of the pandemonium, however; I found relief in the words that were penned to give life, offer hope and peace. God’s word.
This particular season of waiting turned out to be the hardest I have encountered thus far. A distinct pressure to appear calm, to go with the status quo, and to be put together replaced the beauty of being broken and not relying on that which is steadfast and whole.
A few days before the wedding I decided that in order to remain somewhat sane I needed to write. I needed to release the nervous energy that ignited the tingling of pins and needles to settle in my fingers.
I sought the one who knows my heart better than anyone else.
Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
I scribbled on my piece of paper hoping that the words made sense, yet with every curve of the pen I felt that they were feeble attempts at scratching the surface of how truly I felt.
We are four days out. You are a good and glorious God that speaks to me. What do you require of me concerning your Word? You made me. You know me. You understand the distinct snort resting in my ever-present fits of laughter. You know my biggest fears. They threaten to control me, to give me a reason to be afraid, to sky-rocket the need to grapple for control. My understanding of grace is still that of a little child’s. You are not deterred by my lack of faith. In your Word you have laid out evidences of your faithfulness. What you say and what you do is a reflection of your character.
As I transition from one season of life to another, I want to know that I will choose you. That I will seek to glorify and serve you first before my husband and not the neglect the duties as a friend, sister, daughter, niece, and now a wife.
It was a timely prayer. Because in order to choose Him first before anyone else, in order to serve and love my husband, family, and friends I must give thanks to the giver of Life, the Creator of the Universe, the Hope Eternal, the Lover of my soul.
To give thanks is to remember.
Deuteronomy 8:18 “You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
To remember God.
To remember the warmth of the sun’s rays on your arms. To remember His generosity as He provides money for a need that you hadn’t expected. To remember His sovereignty as He reigns supreme above our new leaders. To remember that every good and perfect gift is from the Father above. To remember that His promises, His words prove true every time. To remember that in times of questioning He is still listening. To remember that I was given a best friend to walk alongside and encourage through this life. To remember that He promises to always love steadfastly. To remember that health, wealth, family, friends are his GIFT to us and no matter how any of those things are used, He will be glorified.
Thanksgiving is not the only time to remember. To give thanks only in this season is to undermine the necessity to always be in constant remembrance of the goodness and grace of our Lord.
What I want to remember is God’s gift, His Son, that through living on earth as fully God and man was able by His death to pardon what I could never reconcile. My relationship with God himself.
That is the reason that I am able to give thanks in all circumstances, in all seasons of life, in every day gifts. He is the one we give thanks to because He is the giver of all things all the time.
The quest is still ongoing. Giving thanks to God is never over. The meaning of it ever-deepens as I continue to practice the discipline.
Psalm 8:9 “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.”
Remember it. Live it.