It is the week of Thanksgiving. I have to stop and ask myself, “Am I really thankful?”
Of course, there is really only one (public) answer to that question. But I want to ask the real question. Right now, to be honest, I am thankful, but not as much as I want to be. It has been a busy season of life and there have been some rough spots. Life is good, family is good, work is good – so I should be good, right?
In the past, when I have felt a lack of thanksgiving, I would tell myself to focus more on the amazing things that are happening in life. And there are amazing things happening in my life – church is growing, I am having a blast with my family activities, I am healthy, and I have been able to go to the movies a lot recently with friends. I am thankful! But I think there is a way to find a deeper thanksgiving.
In the Bible there is an incredible word: HESED. To really say it correctly you have to cough a little on the “h” – like “khesed”. It means “faithfulness, kindness, covenant loyalty.” It means God will always keep His promises and act towards His people with love. Hesed is a word that reveals God’s character. God is always loyal. God keeps all of his promises. Even when life seems terrible, the promises of God endure. I have been focusing less on the good things in my life and more on the goodness of God.
I have found thanksgiving – but it is different. It is not just a happy “My life is GREAT right now!” type of rah-rah emotion. It is a peace. Life is good and going to be good – because I belong to Jesus. He is walking with me and leading me, forgiving me of my many mistakes, and growing me to become more like Him. The rough spots will be overcome and the Spirit will grow me through them. This is a deeper thanksgiving – it is based on God’s character and changes my character – I can smile in the storms and celebrate in the feasts of life.
Ok, so maybe this isn’t the conversation you have over your Thanksgiving meal when someone asks “What are you thankful for?” But those are some of the thoughts that are on my mind this week. I am finding a deeper thanksgiving by focusing on the character of the King – unfailing love (hesed). Try focusing on God’s character, and you just might find overflowing thankfulness, too.