A reflection by Sharon Nelsen
From Psalm 138 –
1I thank you Lord with all my heart
You have heard the words of my mouth…
3On the day I called, you answered me
You increased the strength of my soul…
7aYou give me life though I walk amid affliction.
We could spend the rest of our lives thanking God and that would be enough!
What are we doing when we thank God?
· We are acknowledging the source
· We are recognizing gift
· We are welcoming God’s Way in a variety of forms and areas: material, spiritual, relationships, desires of the heart.
· Most importantly, we are making our acknowledgment, recognition, and welcoming a priority—the first act, the first words from our lips.
Why is giving thanks the priority?
· Increases hope for myself and for others-- for the Body of Christ
· Increases trust in the loving power of God as we recognize unfolding “answers” to prayers
· Increases our love for God, the One who hears us
· Increases our faith, so that in long, difficult situations, we are able to persevere
· Reminds us that God can and will bring all things to the good for those who love Him—those who trust and hope in Him.
· Shifts our focus from neediness, from what is not yet done, to recognizing, remembering what has been accomplished, what is.
· Inspires us to proclaim with the poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, that “The world is charged with the Grandeur of God!”
· Inspires us to express creatively the abiding, caring presence of God in all aspects of life
· Engenders joy and delight in the present –in what is right before us.
Giving thanks is not a legalistic mandate, something we’d better do, “or else!” Giving thanks is a gift that flows out of wisdom; a gift for us, an enduring gift that brings us into the abiding presence of God, now and forever.