“It’s only lonely at the top if you forget
all the people you met along the way and fail to acknowledge their
contributions to your success.”
Thankfulness obviously is not humanity’s natural ingredient. Humans aren’t
exactly born grateful. We like to look at the things we lack and unwittingly
diminish the value of everything we’ve already been given. Despite our natural
tendencies, however, we need to sit back from time to time and count our
Put yourself in God’s shoes for a minute – strictly hypothetical of course
since these are big shoes to fill – and imagine all the people talking to you
only want your attention because they want something from you. How would that
make you feel?
I’m sure God loves to be addressed when we are in need. Life is no joke. Bad things happen to good people. And yet, if prayer is used only in times of emergency, then we really don’t know God very well. The apostle Paul wrote in one of his letters (1 Thessalonians 5:17):
Praying continually means that God is a genuine part of our lives. Our
prayers have extended beyond emergency situations, and we have an ongoing
conversation with Him. As we go through the day we share our thoughts with Him,
which is the good, the bad and the ugly. God is with us when we are at our
worst, and He is with us when we at our best. He is the best Friend we will
ever have, and for that it is easy to be thankful for.
As a happy side effect, thankfulness is a great way of combating
negativity. It’s easy to get depressed in times of trouble. We tend to focus on
the dark side when we have problems. Gratefulness snaps us out of this way of
thinking and turns our eyes to the bright side.
We need some joie de vivre especially in tough times. For our own sake and most importantly for God’s sake let’s be thankful!
Isaiah is stunned. Whatever happened in his life has put him in wonder and awe. He got a little glimpse of God’s workings behind the scene.
Maybe we haven’t realized until recently how God has His hand in current events. God has a great mind and things happening in our lives are premeditated. This is where it gets weird sometimes – if we expect something in particular, I can guarantee you, God does not necessarily act based on human input. He has His plan all along, which He will execute in His own good time. Another weird thing is to blame God for certain things that did or didn’t happen. I have long given up on the notion to see the devil behind every bush or to think everything is God’s doing.
We all wear blinders when it comes to the spiritual world. God is the One who opens our eyes so we can see more than just the physical world around us. He can move our hearts so we feel led to do something, or our minds open up and we have the answer to a riddle, or he opens a door for us that we haven’t been able to locate and a dream comes true, or He can make His presence known in such a way that it is tangible. All of that is based on God’s taking away the veil that is hanging right in front of our spiritual eyes. God helps us see. And that’s what got Isaiah excited. He saw something that God showed Him.
Whatever it is that God shows you, it’s a reason to celebrate. Thanking God for the wonderful things He does multiplies the blessings. And praising God, we are in good company: angels, prophets, not to mention Jesus who taught us in His prayer: “Hallowed be Thy name – may Your name be honored”.
Thanking God we honor Him, and honoring Him He honors us with His presence.
There’s many a
reason to be thankful. Thankful to be alive, thankful for our friends, thankful
for any kind of material blessing, thankful for our health, these are just a
few reasons coming to my mind. One major reason to be thankful is the Lord,
hands down! Thanks to Him we’re here. Thanks to Him we know love. Describing
God in a nutshell in the Book of Psalms, we’re looking at three major features
“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his
faithfulness continues through all generations.”
The Lord is good. The Lord is
Love. The Lord is faithful.
Speaking of His faithfulness:
Yesterday I was practicing Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” on the piano. I
was just going through the bridge of the song when something in his lyrics got
“What will it take till you believe in me the way that I believe in
It suddenly occurred to me
that believing in God is a two-way street. Have you ever thought about the fact
that God believes in us? If He didn’t, I’m sure He would not lift a finger for
us. Instead He has expressed His belief in us faithfully throughout human history.
Take Job’s story for
instance. When Satan was badmouthing Job, God was undeterred in His belief that
this man Job would not jump ship and abandon his faith after everything was
taken from him – a truly fascinating story showcasing God’s faith in human
beings! And what about all the sacrifices He made? What about Jesus, the Son of
God who became the Son of Man? None of that would have happened without God’s undeterred
belief in you and me.
What will it take until we
believe in Him in the way that He believes in us?
Something to think about as we
are going through the seasons of our lives – Happy Thanksgiving everybody!