"What do we give to God on Thanksgiving?"
I started at the beginning of the list, but it made no sense to Ezra. He was looking for something tangible- an outward sign of thanksgiving.
When we went home we wrote a list together- a first grattitude list for a three-year-old boy- and prayed together to tell God thank you for each thing. Pictures were drawn and hung on the walls, a physical and real sign of praise for the things we depend on and the people we love.
Making my own list along with Ezra's and when I find myself beyond the usual- family, house, food... the stresses that have built up in the last few months became evident. I find the thoughts in the back of my mind bouncing around:
"Yes, thank you that Brian has a job, but You know he needs something better, more permanent."
"Yes, thank you for providing what we need, but we really need something more dependable."
I shake my head as if to erase it all and try to begin again. Thank you, for what we have right here, right now. Teach me, Father, to be content right here, right now, with what I have in this moment.
Some days it feels like there isn't much left to give after allowing my mind to be taken over by the worry and doubt- What if today is the day they tell him there is no more work? What if the job interviews don't pan out yet again? Haven't we been riding this train long enough that we deserve a break?
And there is the problem. Deserve. It's only by God's grace and mercy and sacrifice that we don't get what we truly deserve.
This thought floods my mind and I am brought to tears thinking of the woman who washed Jesus' feet with fragrant perfume and tears. Jesus' had so much to forgive her for and still she came- she came with what she had, praising Him, understanding that it was He who would save her from her multitude of sins.
God does His best work when we have nothing left to give and yet we still come before Him, offering up the only things left. Our commitment, our love, our hearts. Oh, He works in us in other times, as well, but as Jesus' says in the parable: Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. (Luke 7:47 NKJV)
Ann Voskamp invites us to write about giving thanks. Won't you join us today?
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