What a tremendous Thanksgiving my crew and I had this past Thursday! Such a fun day. Such an “easy” day to be “thankful” on.
Yes, you read that right–“too easy”. It was easy to get up that morning (I actually slept in till about 7am) and do prayer and scripture work to start the day. It was easy to wake my crew up and pile together with them on the couches to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was easy to put the meal on the table, give “Thanks” as a family, and dig in to a sumptuous feast. It was easy to play games with them all day long. To laugh, hug, tease, eat some more, and finish the day with a movie. It was, all in all, a very easy day. And, in that easy-ness, it was easy to give thanks.
There is nothing wrong with that. At all. God delights in the kind of “Thankfulness” that says “God, I am overwhelmed by all the good you have done for me. I am overwhelmed with the grace you have poured out on my life. I am overwhelmed by your love of me, and the love you have given me for my crew. I am thankful.” He delights in joyful thankfulness of “good gifts” given to us by our Father–an appreciation of all He provides.
And, it is good that we set one day aside each year, as a nation, to pause and be thankful. Because, honestly, without that day I’m not sure we would set aside dedicated times of thankfulness. But we should. I should.
But what if we dug deeper? What if we pulled out a shovel and really dug deep into the soil of our soul to the bottom of who we are, and found gratefulness there? More than just rattling through Thanksgiving in my prayer time each day. I’m talking “Broken Thankfulness”–The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving.
“The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving” is a phrase I’ve run into in scripture a few times, which has always made me stop and think “What does that mean? What does that look like?” This year, I decided to prod that notion a bit deeper.
We find it in Psalm 50:20 and 50:23, where we read:
Our chief aim–the reason we were created–is to glorify God. So, if that is truth, then it stands to reason that we should offer thanksgiving as a sacrifice to God, but what does that even mean?
I think we find the answer in the very next Psalm–Psalm 51. It is there that we read what the sacrifices of God are; a sort of definition, if you will:
A broken spirit. A broken heart. A contrite heart. Over sin in our lives. Over sin in other’s lives. Over evil in this world. Over the hurting and the suffering.
Here is the key: We can not cultivate a gratitude for God’s grace, until we cultivate a realization in our souls of who we are and who He is. We do not deserve His grace. We have done nothing to deserve His mercy. Yet He gives it, because He loves us.
This should make our soul both break in contrition and soar with thankfulness.
Earnest Thankfulness. A Sacrifice of Thanksgiving.