Have you ever had someone say to you, “Thanks, a lot!” in a sarcastic tone? They really meant to tell you, “What you did was so wrong, I want to hurt you by saying thanks and not meaning it.” In other words, the person twisted the words into a curse.
Perhaps you have experienced this misuse of thanks. You may have carefully chosen a present for a family member. When they open the box, their face says, Why would I want one of these? But they exclaim falsely, “Thank you, so much!” And the item goes to the Goodwill store the next week.
When the Lord God created the concept of thanks, it was planned to be a way for our hearts to connect with others and Him.
When our heart is not thankful, it can keep us from receiving from God His blessings beyond what we can even ask or think.
When Jesus healed a blind man, He made mud by spitting on dirt and smearing it on the man’s eyes.
What if the man reacted by sarcastically saying, “Thanks a lot, Jesus. If I wanted mud in my eye, I could have done it myself!”
Thankfully he didn’t and the miracle became his reality! (John 9:1-19) Have you rejected God’s process because you didn’t like what He was doing? Try being thankful He is your God and He knows better than you what to do!
When Jesus saw a funeral procession go by and a widow woman grieving her son’s death, He interrupted the solemn occasion. She could have been incensed by the interruption, saying, “Thanks so much for creating a scene during the second funeral I have had in a short time!” But He took charge and she silently watched her son rise from the funeral pallet. (Luke 7:11-17)
Have you ever felt that no one understood your pain and so you wallowed in it rather than thanking God for seeing you through it?
When Jesus entered Jairus’ house, the mourners were fully engaged in their religious activity. More than one of them must have scoffed at Jesus when He announced that the girl was not dead. When the little girl was healed and the parents jubilant, the mourners must have rued their shortsightedness. (Mark 5:21-43)
Have you ever stuck to your incorrect beliefs so that God had to prove you wrong? Embarrassment then made your tongue silent instead of thanking God for the truth!
Thanksgiving is not necessarily easy. In fact it can cost you something.
- Your pride
- Your desire to be right
- Your act of lifting someone up who you think doesn’t deserve it
- Your comfortability
- Your unbelief
When I think of the group of lepers who were healed in Luke 17:11-19, it is amazing to me that only one of the ten came back to thank Jesus. Yet, when I examine my own life, do I only thank Him one-tenth of the time? Is there an atmosphere of thankfulness around me or do I exude a spirit of entitlement?
Thanksgiving is a once-a-year event, yet I am not sure who most people are thanking. Perhaps they just think that gratefulness is merely when a heart is pleased. But God’s idea of thanksgiving involves communication with Him. Thanks must be received by someone….and that Someone should be God Almighty. He is the only One entitled to our thanks! He made us. We have breath and life and the goodness of the Lord as we flourish in the land of the living.
Take your month of November and create a continual Thanksgiving that transforms how you think and act. Listen as God speaks to you through your times of gratitude. By daily communicating beyond your incidental thanks to God, you will change your mind and heart toward the world around you. In other words, you will receive God’s perspective instead of your own. You will set an atmosphere of thanksgiving wherever you go. Thus, those around you will experience an overflow from your communion with God.
Some ideas for your month of thanksgiving:
- Thank someone who you normally would not thank, find something for which you can truly thank them.
- Be sure to thank your children every day, for who they are more than what they do.
- Show thankfulness to your spouse or BFF by writing them a note telling them why you thank God for them.
And you can think of many more. Let thankfulness flow in November until it becomes a habit and part of your nature.
Go, woman of God! I am so very thankful for you!