What does it mean to be thankful? Is it simply saying, “Thanks”? Is it more of a feeling than words?
Scripture gives us the hint of what it means to be thankful and I believe it is linked to our sense of awe. The Psalmist repeatedly directs our attention to the splendor and majesty of God so the sense of awe will overtake us, enrapturing us with praise and thanksgiving. I would submit to you for consideration that we are not truly thankful unless we are awe-full.
The play on words is perfect. Have you felt awful? You’re probably thinking about the last time you were so sick you were in bed and you felt awful. Truly the word awful came from combining the words awe and full. Awe is the realization that something demands respect and/or fear because you are insignificant in comparison with it.
Why are we less likely to be thankful? We have trouble thinking of ourselves as insignificant. The more important we feel ourselves to be, the less thankful we will be. I believe the words of this song capture the awe-full heart which fills us with the wonder that God loves me.
There’s the wonder of sunset at evening, the wonder as sunrise I see; But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul is the wonder that God loves me.
There’s the wonder of springtime and harvest, the sky, the stars, the sun; But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul is a wonder that’s only begun.
O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all! Just to think that God loves me. O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all! Just to think that God loves me.
In the spirit of this devotional, I would like to say how thankful I am for God calling me to serve the people of Anthony Baptist Church. As I think through every name and pray for every person, I am overwhelmed with the wonder of what God can do even in the little-known hollows of Pennsylvania. To think he would take a handful of people and grow a church with a passion for reaching the world with the gospel and loving our neighbor, it is staggering. From my heart, I am thankful for the special folks at Anthony because you do not wait to be served, but rather you rally together to serve. May the wonder of God and his love for us never fade from our minds as we serve Him together for many years to come!