We’ve all had someone tell us: “Close your eyes and hold out your hands.” We don’t know what we’ll receive, but we obey. And we express our thanks. Even if we’re handed a worm by a happy little boy. A hard-to-say “thank you” to be sure, but it still counts, and we say it with a smile and love in our heart.
We give thanks for our blessings, and we know we’re to give thanks in all things. It’s God’s will for us. I’ve not yet figured out the right way to express gratitude for the death of a spouse, or an only son, or a divorce, or for the miscarriage of a grandbaby, but I can thank the Lord for His Immutability. However life shifts around me, He is the Solid Rock Who never changes. For this I know how to give thanks! And am thankful that a hard-to-say thank you still counts.
Some circumstances cause us to search for the right expression of gratitude. But if we’ll look to the One Who never fails, Who hides us under His wings, Who comforts us in our afflictions, Who weeps with us graveside, Who loves us with an everlasting love, Who rides on the clouds to come to our rescue, we’re able to utter the hard-to-say thank you. We can give thanks because we’re made to triumph in Christ.
Sometimes thanksgiving flows freely. Other times it’s a sacrifice of love from our broken hearts to our Heavenly Father. But He knows first hand about the pain of sacrifice. He watched His best-loved only Son die so that we could know freedom from sin in this life and inherit life eternal. And Jesus cooperated in the gift; He held out His hands and took the spikes for you and me. With hearts overflowing with gratitude we give thanks now and throughout eternity for this gift.
In return, He expects us to hold out our hands and accept what He brings into our lives with faith in His loving Father-heart. And for whatever comes into or is taken out of our hands, with Job we can say from full hearts, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.” And be it easy to be thankful, or a hard-to-say thank you, it still counts.
What will it be to enter the gates of Glory? All pain past, tears wiped away by the very hand of God. Those hard-to-say thank you situations will be forgotten in the wonders of heaven. We’ll hold out our hands and give thanks for evermore.
Let’s get in some praise practice this Thanksgiving season. If things are sweet and smooth: To God be the glory; great things He hath done! If things are hard and harsh: remember that your Father does all things well. He never leaves you. Stay close to Him in the furnace. And remember – a hard-to-say thank you still counts. Thanks be unto God for His Unspeakable Gift! Happy Thanksgiving!
1 Timothy 1:17