Our pastor just finished a month long series of sermons on gratitude. The first week was the most helpful to me, reminding me to be thankful throughout the week, paying attention to things throughout the day that we should be thankful for but take for granted. A couple of weeks later I did a devotional for our weekday teachers and took that sermon and thought over it a little bit. I decided there are three levels of thankfulness. This is not Biblically based yet. Maybe I'll find some verses to back me up someday, but for now its just the gospel according to Christy.
I think the first level is the basic level of being thankful. Its what we preschool teachers are famous for. Thank you God for the sun, moon and stars, the grass and bees and birds and trees. And its what most of us do at Thanksgiving before the big meal. Thank you God for our health, our family and and food. That's a perfectly fine level of gratitude. We do need to thank God for all of those things. All of those things are from Him.
The next level is really paying attention during the day to things we can thank God for that we might not usually attribute to Him. Thank you God that I have a car that works and has air conditioning. Thank you God that my closet is full of clothes, even when I complain about washing and ironing them. Thank you God for this hot water that is coming out of the shower. Thank you God that the woman at the grocery store had a smile on her face today. I could go on and on. Every person that you come in contact with is an opportunity to be thankful. Every quality in your spouse or child you like or even dislike is something to be thankful for.
The third level is usually the most difficult. That's when we are truly thankful for who God is. Most weeks I don't even think about the greatness of God except maybe on Sunday morning in church. But Oh God, please forgive me for not being thankful for your holiness, your greatness, your power and might, your faithfulnes even when I am not faithful to you. I was singing "Mighty to Save" the other day, and it hit me that moving mountains seems like a big deal to us, but the big deal is that He's the author of salvation. Yes, He has the power to move mountains and open the seas and break down walls. But the thing to be thankful for is that He has the power to save us, to save me. He rose and conquered the grave! That is way more important than moving mountains. Let us be thankful for HIM not just for what He gives us. Thank you Father for all that you are. Help me not to just thank you on this one day a year.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I urge you to go deeper in your gratitude today!