Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pausing for Thankfulness: Really Giving Thanks

Please welcome guest blogger and She Speaks graduate, Angela Mackey:

Angela Mackey
Guest Blogger
Rethinking My Thinking
"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name." Hebrews 13:15

My heart felt torn. My eyes burned as tears threatened to spill. I cleared my throat, "Thank you." I nodded my head willing that she know how deeply grateful I felt. This was no polite thank-you like I say to the lady who took my order at the drive-thru, but the I-was-in-desperate-need-and-you-answered-the-call type.

How often do I offer feeble thanks to God? The polite thank-you for the socks you got for Christmas rather than thanks that comes from a humble heart.

Is it possible that we forget we are in desperate need–that without Jesus we are hopeless, helpless, enemies of God? Real thanksgiving comes from a humble heart. A heart that realizes I could never have done this alone and I can never repay you for what you have done.

Isn't that what God did for us through His Son? But we forget, we justify ourselves. We think we aren't that bad, we could somehow work our way to heaven. Then suddenly the gifts we could never earn turn into something we demand to have. We think we have earned a life free of strife, illness, financial burdens, relational stress, and loss. Instead of "a sacrifice of praise" (Hebrews 13:15) we reluctantly mumble, "thanks God." All the time wishing He gave us a box of chocolates rather than a fishing pole.

We lose sight of how desperately we need a Savior. We forget our original state. We were "God's enemies" (Romans 5:10), "slaves to sin" (Romans 6:6), and our "minds were blinded" (2 Corinthians 4:4). All our good deeds are like "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). Max Lucado once likened us to a "lame leper begging for a back on which to ride."

Oh that we would come to God from that humble state of mind. Remembering who we are without Him. Knowing our desperate need and thanking Him from that humbled state. It is from that humbled place we can offer thanksgiving in the painful things of life. When we remember our nature before He saved us, we can see that all God gives is grace.

Let us pause to remember the desperate situation He saved us from and let us give thanks with that in mind.

Angela Mackey lives in the Arkansas River Valley with her wonderfully supportive husband and three amazing children. She is passionate about teaching women to renew their minds through God’s word so that they may live transformed lives. Angela is a writer, speaker, nurse, and stay-at-home mom who openly shares her struggle with infertility. She loves college basketball (especially the Kansas Jayhawks), reading, writing, and laughing at herself. You can connect with her on her blog, Rethinking My Thinking , on Twitter and on Facebook.

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