“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.” Psalms 50:14
Odd things have been done by all sorts of folks through history to try to impress God.
Kneeling in bits of glass. Sleeping on a bed of nails. Depriving the body of food, the mind of companionship, the senses of input.
How impressed was God with these sacrifices?
I’m guessing NOT.
Like, not at ALL.
What about a big fat donation?
Nice touch, but no dice.
Maybe a few good acts of selflessness?
Lots of prayer?
Nice things, all of them. And all have their place, for sure.
But what does God REALLY want??
A thankful heart.
Look at this verse – the offering that God really really wants is an attitude of gratitude. A heart that is brimming with thankfulness, a mouth that is primed with words of praise, eyes that notice the good gifts given.
It makes sense.
Ever go out of your way to do something nice for someone, go above and beyond with a generous gift, and get – nothing? No acknowledgment. No positive response.
It sure kills the desire to give, doesn’t it?
But if your gift or time or sacrifice is noticed and appreciated, the effort was worth the trouble, wasn’t it?
God, filling lungs with air, holding gravity stable, maintaining solar energy, painting the sky with clouds – and His efforts remain unnoticed.
God, directing sea currents, sending timely rains, providing the lioness and the koala with food, balancing delicate ecosystems that we continually ruin, overseeing a billion pregnancies, and not a thank you in sight.
What faithfulness, to continue providing good gifts to humans who not only don’t acknowledge the gifts, but complain about the method of delivery. What love, to plan special surprises for people too busy to enjoy them. What tenacity, to offer His best to a world determined to think the worst of Him.
I have been the blind one, the busy one, the ignorant one. I have ignored and complained and rejected, believing myself shortchanged.
I want to be the one who notices. Sees. Understands the heart behind the gift, the character behind the act.
I want to live a life marked by gratitude.
Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God with me?
Father, we miss the mark in our striving to please You when You want our hearts, our gratitude, our acknowledgment of Your constant faithfulness. Create a new awareness in our minds of Your generosity, and help us to turn this season of thanksgiving into a lifelong habit! Amen.