Give Thanks - Jeff and Alyssa

madewithoverThe other night as I lay in bed, not quite tired enough to drift off to sleep, I turned over to see my strong husband and beautiful pup fast asleep next to me. (Yes, we have succumbed to letting Aslan sleep with us. Don’t ask me how we do it- it’s cramped, and most nights I sleep cricked or with my legs dangling off the side of the bed since he’s taking up all the room where my feet would normally be. However, when he jumps up on our bed before bedtime with those droopy eyes, how can one say no?) I stopped, and I realized how blessed I am, how gracious the Lord has been to me, and how thankful I am to have these two “boys” in my life; both a gift from the Lord that He has lent me. I realized how ungrateful I’ve been, and how quick I am to take things for granted. I sat there for a few minutes, letting the tears fall from my eyes, and softly giving thanks to the Lord for His precious gifts, none of which I deserve.

The next day, I got a burst of energy to do something “pinteresty”, so I made a burlap banner for our entryway that says, “give thanks”. Perfect for the month of November, right!? However, really it was done out of the overflow of my heart. As I sat at our kitchen table yesterday going over the letters with my black sharpie, I let that simple phrase sink in.

Give thanks.

73 times the bible talks of how we as God’s people- redeemed, cherished, set apart, forgiven, and spoken for- are to give thanks.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” {Psalm 28:7}

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” {Psalm 100:4}

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” {1 Thessalonians 5:18}

Give thanks because His love endures forever- regardless of what we do, or have done, nothing can change His great love for us. Give thanks in all circumstances because this is God’s will for you. God doesn’t explicitly state what His specific will is for us too much in the bible, but here is one instance that is clear regardless of who you are, or what you do: give thanks.

Give thanks is at the very heart of our relationship with Jesus. It’s a humble attitude, a gratefulness that knows how awesome and gracious our Lord is, and how blessed we are as His children. Maybe not blessed materially, physically, financially, or successfully- but we are blessed to be apart of His family and to be His forever.

To dwell with Jesus.

To be able to run into His presence.

To enter in.

To take part.

To be covered.

To be utterly and undeniably loved.

To be forgiven completely- period.

To have a Savior.

To be in the family.

I’m preaching to my own weary, disobedient and forgetful heart. Instead of thinking on these things, instead of actively giving thanks, I go through my days so often either complaining or just being apathetic- not bringing to light or reflecting on how sweet my Savior is. However, when I do stop, even for 5 seconds, to thank Him for something, like my sweet husband and cute dog, I enter in– into His presence. And for that moment, He seems closer; not because He’s moved, He’s always close. But because I’m opening my eyes to Him, to who He is and what He’s done.

Whether you are on a mountain high today, a valley low or just feeling “blah”, may we stop and see how gracious is our Lord. And how near the Lord is, if only we open our eyes to see.

Give thanks. Not just this month, but every month. Every day. Every moment. Give thanks. And see Jesus.