Monday, July 6, 2015

Thankfulness: More Thoughts

            Continuing from my last post pondering thankfulness, I wanted to add a couple additional thoughts.
            When I define thankfulness, I am not defining it as that “Gosh-I’m-feeling-giddy-because-everything’s-going-my-way” feeling. I’m defining thankfulness as when deep down in your gut you are truly thankful—giving thanks—for something. Your heart overflows with gratefulness.
            In order for that to happen, there must be an object, usually a person, who is the recipient of your thankfulness.
            When you are given a gift that you really “love” you have a thankful heart toward the giver. You usually come right out and utter the words “Thank you!” Or you write a sincere Thank You note and send it to them. (I know, old fashioned, but highly UNDERrated in today’s world of abbreviate text messages and sloppily written, perfunctory emails.)
            You can’t really be truly thankful to nothing or to no one. If you stand outside in a cloud burst, enjoying the rain pelting you, (I live in the desert, and we go downright goo-goo when it rains around here), and you don’t think about the One who created rain and set the heavens and Earth on a course to produce it, then you aren’t really exhibiting thanks, you are simply happy that it’s raining. Maybe deliriously happy, but just happy.
            I encourage you to examine your heart the next time you say, “I am so thankful for....” The obvious question would be: “Who are you thanking for it?” Yourself? The gift-giver? Someone needs to receive your thanks. I want you to be mindful and think about who you’re thanking.
            When you believe in God, most of the time He is the recipient of your thankfulness. When He resides in your heart, His eyes become your eyes, and He becomes your vision. You see everything through His eyes, and His Holy Spirit residing within you interprets what you’re seeing. Your vision becomes clearer. The view becomes sweeter. The thankfulness comes from your gut and your heart overflows with it. You don’t really know the feeling of giddy unless you’ve felt giddy as a believer. Like my precious cousin, Jan, said to me soon after being diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer, and right after she’d become a Christian, “Even the air smells, different, Andie! It’s sweeter. I can’t really describe it.”
            She didn’t have to describe it. She thought I’d think she was nuts, but I knew exactly what she meant. And my heart poured out thankfulness to the God who brought her heart to that point. And she was thankful to Him, too, in spite of the physical and emotional hell she’d have to endure the next two years. I could hear the thankfulness in her voice 466.7 miles away through an old telephone. She had new life, had been miraculously reborn, and she knew it, could feel it, and was giddy and grateful even though her physical life on Earth was coming to an end. She was also thankful because she discovered it all didn’t have to end right here. There was a sweet hope for her eternal future.
            That’s what I mean by real thankfulness. When you can—because of, or in spite of everything going on around you—turn your face up and open your eyes and arms to heaven, and say, “THANK YOU!”
            It’s a thankfulness you breathe in and breathe out, a thankfulness that gives and sustains life.
            A grace-filled thankfulness that deepens the relationship between the receiver and the Giver.

            For what are you thankful, and who are you thanking for it today?

Until next week,

Thanks for joining me!