Expressing thanks but ignoring the Giver?

Expressing thanks.png

Two years ago, speaking about the Thanksgiving season, a fellow blogger commented, “I’m always amazed this time of year to hear people speak of being grateful, but denying the one to whom we should direct our gratitude.”  Her comment invites reflection, does it not?

How is it possible to be grateful but never acknowledge God? Could it be that we fail to see Him as the Source of all good gifts? Could it be that, in the vein of king Nebuchadnezzar, we are taking all or most of the credit for the good in our lives? Could it be that we do not know or live in the light of the truths revealed in Acts 17:24-28 (CEV):

This God made the world and everything in it. … He gives life, breath, and everything else to all people. From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and He decided when and where every nation would be. God has done all this, so that we will look for Him and reach out and find Him. He isn’t far from any of us, and He gives us the power to live, to move, and to be who we are…”

Could it be that we do not know or remember that it is

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning…” and great is His faithfulness? (Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV)

How well do those of us who call Him Father and claim that He is Lord know these truths? Is our knowledge only head knowledge? Or do these truths so permeate our being that thanksgiving, gratitude has become our lifestyle instead of something we do occasionally and without intentionality?

Someone posed this question, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” What would the answer be for each of us? Sobering. 

I close with an invitation/prayer/plea from Psalm 107:1-2, 8-9, NKJV).

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy… Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.”

 

Expressing gratitude but denying the Giver

Today’s post is inspired by a recent comment C. M, a fellow blogger, made in response to one of my posts. She noted, “I’m always amazed this time of year to hear people speak of being grateful, but denying the one to whom we should direct our gratitude.”  As I continue to reflect on her words, I wonder if one reason individuals can “speak of being grateful” without acknowledging “the one to whom we should direct our gratitude,” is that they fail to see Him as the Source of all good gifts? Also, in addition to not seeing God as the source of all good gifts, can it be that, in the vein of king Nebuchadnezzar, even if they believe that God exists, they take all or most of the credit for the good in their lives?  Can it be that they do not know the truths revealed in Acts 17:24-28 (CEV):

This God made the world and everything in it. … He gives life, breath, and everything else to all people. From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and He decided when and where every nation would be. God has done all this, so that we will look for Him and reach out and find Him. He isn’t far from any of us, and He gives us the power to live, to move, and to be who we are…”

Can it be that they do not know it is

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning…” and great is His faithfulness? (Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV)

And how well do those of us who call Him Father and claim that He is Lord know these truths? Is our knowledge only head knowledge? Or do these truths so permeate our being that thanksgiving, gratitude has become our lifestyle instead of something we do occasionally and without intentionality?

I think of a question I came across once, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” Sobering, is it not? I close with an invitation/prayer/plea from Psalm 107:1-2, 8-9, NKJV).

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy… Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.”

Monday Vitamins: Server, what is on your menu?

When you enter a restaurant where food is not served on disposable containers, the greeting by the hostess/host, includes the following words or variations of them: “Welcome to name of restaurant. How many?” And if in that moment, there are not other customers waiting or there is seating adequate for you but not for them, the host/hostess picks up a menu or menus, invites you to follow her/him, and leads you to a table (or booth). After you are seated, you usually hear, “            will be your server today.” Within several minutes, a smiling person shows up and introduces him/herself, asks if you are ready to order or need some more time, and/or may state the special(s). Also, the server may ask “Can I start you with something?” and typically, unless you are at a food truck or something similar, the servers are not serving food they prepared.

We are all servers. That was not a misprint. We are all servers in that we offer “food” to others when we interact with them; however, unlike the servers in most restaurants, in our daily interpersonal interactions, we have a choice to offer “food” we have prepared or what He has prepared.  “What I have prepared?” Yes. God and life give us ingredients for the “food’ we prepare through diverse sources: our births, families of origin, circumstances, socioeconomic status, education, race, ethnicity, struggles, to name a few. We also access ingredients through our personal choices and the choices of others, and we prepare “food” in the “kitchens” of our hearts and minds and offer it to others through our words, our actions, as well as our silence and inaction.

The quality of our food may vary. For example, an offered meal may be heavy in empty calories (aka promises we have no intention of keeping and fake compliments) and light in nutrients. At other times, our food is tainted with bitterness and resentment because we chose not to forgive. It may also have the spices of envy and distrust. Or, when seasoned by quality time in His Word and in His presence, the food we offer can encourage, inspire, uplift.

The food He has prepared however, is consistently of the highest quality: His Word and promises, salvation, love which endures forever, compassions which never fail, hope, faith, grace that abounds, and a plan for good and not for evil, among others. And He invites all to come and eat freely. Sometimes He even prepares a table of food for us in the presence of our enemies. The more we eat and digest the food He has prepared, the better we become at serving His food to others. Server, what is on your menu this week?