My family and I had a wonderful thanksgiving, and I hope you did as well. As I sit here in my kitchen, the day after thanksgiving, at 11:30pm, wiping flour off of my brow and taking Advil for an aching back from standing in the kitchen so long, I am simply and utterly thankful. I have so many blessings to be thankful for, that I cannot even count them all. I wonder - why has God blessed me so? What have I done to deserve my blessings? What did I ever do to deserve any mercy or grace from God? Why am I blessed?
Even though I always find myself asking these questions, in my heart I know the answer. I do not deserve a thing. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero.
I am not always a patient mom. I am not always a loving wife. I am not always the best daughter, sister, friend, or neighbor. I have skeletons in my closet, sins in my past, and sometimes bitterness, resentment, discontentment, and jealousy in my heart. I know that I deserve nothing. But it is knowing that, which makes me love my Lord even more. Knowing that I do not deserve any blessings, much less the millions that I have been granted, makes me so thankful for my Jesus. Why does He bless us? Because that is what He does. Even though we have never and will never deserve it.
A few weeks ago, I entered "Thanksgiving Day" into the calendar on my blackberry phone. All of this week, that calendar reminder has been there on my screen. Now, I didnt need a reminder about Thanksgiving, I am not quite that absent-minded - however, I needed to remember why I am thankful, so in that calendar entry, I had typed in the verse Hebrews 12:28. I wanted to be reminded why I should be thankful in my heart, not merely thankful for the physical or emotional blessings that I have received.
Hebrews 12:28 says this from The Message Bible, "Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He's actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won't quit until it's all cleansed. God himself is Fire! "
The New Living Translation says it this way: "Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe."
Sometimes I lose sight of what I am supposed to be seeing. I forget what I have. I forget what God has really given me. I forget to be truly thankful - for my eternal life, not just for my earthly blessings. I need to be thankful when Im angry at someone, when someone has hurt me, when things are not going my way, and when I cant have the things that I think I need or want.
I am thankful for the hope that I can have when things seem to be hopeless. I am thankful for the peace that God gives me in the midst of a crisis, which I could not have on my own. I am thankful knowing that the bible tells us that all things work together for the glory of God, and for knowing that there is a purpose for everything that happens in life.
I am thankful for Gods forgiveness, not just for my sins, but for forgiving me for doubting His will and and His ways when I watch people I love experience pain and suffering. I am thankful that He understands my feelings, and longs to remind me that He loves me despite my failed attempts to fully trust Him and depend on Him.
I think I may plug that verse into my phone as a daily reminder from now on. I hope that it helps me to celebrate Thanksgiving every day, not just every November.
We have a kingdom and a God that cannot be shaken, no matter how much our life seems to be shaken up. Now that is something to be thankful for all year long.