The Art Of Giving Thanks

Gracias, Merci, Danke, Takk, and Thank You! November is the month of thankfulness.  Mothers nudge their young children with the cue, “What do you say?”  It never grows old to hear words of appreciation for kindnesses and remembrances given. 
          When we learn kindnesses comes through sacrifice, we understand and appreciate the ‘art of giving thanks.’   Recognizing the gift of kindness is the first step in learning the ‘why’ of thank you.
          Recently I found Mother’s poem on Thanksgiving, written in 1973. I read it before, yet never saw the depth of the words before. I understand now.  Before it contained words to describe our ‘thank you’s’ to God.  Suddenly, it is more.  Without God in our hearts, there is no kindness or need for ‘thank you’s’.
          Mother taught me to give thanks, first to God and then to others.  She continues to teach me through memories of her and her countless writings about thankfulness and loving others.
         We sing the song, Count Your Many Blessings, without understanding the blessings we enjoy are an overflow of what God the Father has given us.  Our lives are in His hands.  He keeps our feet from stumbling.  Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing his praises. Our lives are in his hands, and He keeps our feet from stumbling.  Psalm 66:8-9.
         Where else can we find an outpouring of love and a family who cares with reassurance?  Where else can we find hope and an abundance of just what I need?  Yes, God is our everything.
         Andrae Crouch wrote lyrics to sing when words fail me.  How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me?  Things so undeserved, Yet You gave to prove Your love for me. 
         Why do I celebrate giving thanks to God?   “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.”  John 3:16-17.
         It is through the Name of Jesus; I am no longer a slave to fear, I’m a child of the King.  (Bethel Music.)  Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.  A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever.  So, if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”  John 8:34-36.
         Can we name all the blessings God gives us in one twenty-four hours?  Where do we begin? Made in His Image, we breathe His air into our lungs. He surrounds us with growing trees, flowers, and other things made as He designed.  He created rabbits and elephants, goldfish and the huge whales.  Nothing is too small or too big for Him to create.  He fills the sky with stars and He names each one.  Clouds traverse unmarked trails in the sky with bursts of color. He waters all the earth. He made the light in the skies for the day and the night. 
    Then our Father God sent His only Son Who gave His life to bring us to His Father.  Who is Jesus?  He is the reason our hearts fill with gratitude and celebration at the mention of His Name.       
         I Am
·      Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  Matthew 11:29.
·      But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” He said. “Take courage. I am here!”  Matthew 14:27.
·      “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20.
·      Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.  John 6:35.
·      Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12.
·      So he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. John 10:7.
·      I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me.” John 10:14.
·      Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.”  John 11:25.
The Art of Giving Thanks
We walk through a late summer day
Over mounted blessings on our way.
We think of fruit and garnered grain,
Of sunny skies and gentle rain.
A touch of pain to guard our health,
A bit of want to thank for wealth.
Of love enfolding all of man
Around this world and back again.
Of hates all weeded, joys all sown,
Of nourished hopes, at last full-grown.
Of family trees that ever grow,
And all the special friends we know.
Count not enough, one day of praise,
But I thank the Lord, through all my days.


                           Anna Daisy Siemens 1907-1998

Comments? eacombs@att.net