By Kelly Carr, Editor
What about when you receive thanks from others—how does it make you feel? Receiving a card in the mail is special to me. I know it’s a task that takes time and effort. (Which is why it’s easy to put off or avoid.) So a handwritten note of any sort is a gift. But it is especially heartwarming to receive a thank-you note. Even an email or a text makes me feel nice.
Why do we feel good when we’re thanked? Is it self-serving to appreciate the recognition? Maybe a little. Perhaps it’s human nature to want to be acknowledged. It’s also fun to know that others enjoyed a gift or comforting to know our actions filled a need.
If we feel this way on a small scale, I imagine God enjoys receiving our thanks multiplied many times over. Just think of all the good things he provides for us. So he should be getting thanks upon thanks all day long.
Yet I wonder if he does.
Do we thank God as often as we should? Sometimes we take for granted all that God has given. We may forget that both things in nature and things created by humanity have their roots in God’s gracious provision. We may not take notice of all the big and small blessings until they’re gone.
So it’s appropriate to have reminders to be thankful. Face it—most of us need a prompt here and there. It’s why I enjoy this week’s holiday of Thanksgiving. It’s a reminder of the fabulous family and friends who surround me; it’s a reminder of the great country we live in and the freedoms we have; it’s a reminder that we have food—delicious food!—to put on our table; it’s a reminder to rest and enjoy celebrating life.
I appreciate taking the Lord’s Supper each week at my church as a reminder to be thankful of the salvation and mercy Jesus gave. I never want to take such a gift for granted—yet, sinful me, I do. I’m thankful that God found a creative way to remind us through taste, smell, touch, sight, and even sound so that we can take in his loving grace with all our senses.
What gratitude God deserves.
Try something with me. Don’t let Thanksgiving come and go the same way this year. Choose to let this season spark a fresh sense of gratitude in your soul. Create your own form of thank-you notes to God. Maybe it does involve writing notes to people or to God himself. But your thank-you “notes” could be in other forms:
• Show gratitude for God’s creation by picking up trash in your community parks.
• Share your thankful heart by sending a care package to military personnel overseas.
• In gratitude for having the funds to provide for your own basic needs, help others who are without—purchase some hygienic supplies and donate them to a local homeless shelter or buy baby supplies and donate to a pregnancy care center.
• As a thank-you for being cared for by loving adults when you were young, volunteer your time in the church nursery or children’s class.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many ways to be a living thank-you note. It’s all about the spirit of our actions. Let’s enjoy sending gratitude out to God and to the world.