My husband recently returned from a two week concert tour to Texas. When he’s gone, I tend to run things “quick and easy” around the house, especially when it comes to cooking for myself and the kids. Last week, when my son asked what was for dinner and I told him, he said, “Okay, even though it isn’t my favorite meal.” He ate the food without complaint, and as I cleared the plates, he said, “Thanks, Mom.” I was so thankful for his mature response, and it got me thinking about some of the elements that are involved in being thankful.
To be thankful is to recognize our dependence upon the Lord, and our need for His provision. In Genesis 22, Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son. As he walked toward Mt. Moriah, Isaac asked him where the lamb was for the burnt offering. Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” (Genesis 22:8, NASB) God provided His Son, the perfect Lamb, for our primary need of salvation. He also provides for our daily needs. Oh to have our walk with the Lord be like Abraham’s, marked with unwavering confidence in knowing that He will provide for our every need.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21, NASB)
To be thankful is to be obedient. God provided manna in the desert. I think back to when my kids were young, and they would look at their plate with a wrinkled nose and the classic “Ewwww” look on their face and say, “What is it?” I would tell them what it was, and that they needed to eat it because it was good for them. Sometimes we encounter things in life that we don’t recognize or that seem distasteful to us. We must cultivate a thankful heart, and receive what the Lord provides for us each day. God instructed the Israelites to gather only what was needed for that day, except when preparing for the Sabbath. If they tried to take too much (disobedience), it would rot. It is important to meet with, and receive from the Lord daily.
“In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.” (Deuteronomy 8:16, NASB)
To be thankful is to be humble. In order to recognize our dependence upon the Lord and be obedient in our daily walk, we must have a spirit of humility.
“But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” (James 4:6, NASB)
When we partake of what He provides with a thankful heart, we are strengthened and we grow in our faith and knowledge of Him.
“And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10, NASB)
So today, as the house begins to wake up and the bustle of preparing a meal and greeting guests begins, I am reflecting, with thanksgiving, not only on the Lord as my Savior, but as my Provider and Sustainer.
“The Lord sustains all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to Thee, and Thou dost give them their food in due time. Thou dost open Thy hand, and dost satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and kind in all His deeds. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:14-18, NASB)