Saturday, July 25, 2009

Harvest Homework: Giving Thanks

Last Sunday, Matt asked Harvesters to take time this week to think about who God is and bask in His "lawn sprinkler of love," and then to give Him thanks. I've been thinking a lot about this and wanted to share some of those thoughts.

When I first started this, I found it really difficult to take myself out of the equation. I wanted to give Him thanks for something He's done for me or thank Him for answering one of my prayers. I almost walked back over to my computer on Monday to blog about it. But I wanted to give it more time and see what would happen throughout the week.

A couple of days into it, I found myself really trying to focus hard on God's character. I was pondering that incredible idea of self-referencing, unconditional love from Psalm 136, and found myself filled - no, overflowing - with praise and gratitude. It was a very difficult and different experience to consciously put aside my own thoughts and desires to focus more on the thoughts and desires of God. The result was soul satisfaction that caused me to pour out praise and thanks to Him for who He is. That, in return, made me want to love and serve others because I had experienced Him and felt naturally moved to share it.

This, I believe, is what is at the heart of true Christian living. It's a denial of self so that God can be glorified - and in doing so, I stop thinking about what I need to do for God and simply allow God to do whatever He wants to in and through me. It's at this moment that I truly understand who God is and who I am in relation to him. What happens after that is mysterious and amazing because it's God's work, not mine.


Randolph Koch said...

It's an interesting analogy, "Sprinkler of Love". Although sprinklers spread the water wider and more efficiently sprinklers are usually on timers and turn on and off at a set time per the users preference. In relation to God I'm struck by the fact that God's love isn't on a set time - it's constant and never turns off, never fails, and isn't dependent on man's intervention. I'm so encouraged that He is the everlasting God with an everlasting love for mankind. On the theme of God being an Everlasting God check out this song Lincoln Brewster does so well in communicating this truth. Brenton Brown wrote it during a time when his wife and he were diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and Isaiah 41 ministered to him. Read Isaiah 40:28-31 and be encouraged.

Aaron said...

Way to take that analogy to a whole new level, Randy! Thanks for sharing that song and story - I love Lincoln Brewster and that song, but I hadn't heard that story before.

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