The Secret of a Thankful Heart

Thanksgiving –  It began as a day of giving thanks for the Pilgrim’s first harvest, and became a national holiday day set apart to give thanks for the blessings of the preceding year.

How much of my celebrating Thanksgiving is about truly being thankful? How much of my celebration is spent giving thanks to God for the blessings of the preceding year?

The Lord impressed this upon me the other day…

Wilma, the ways in which you celebrate Thanksgiving Day shows how you give thanks on every other day of the year.

At first I tried to justify why this wasn’t a good barometer of my thankfulness, but as I continued to ponder it I had to agree that there was truth to it.

So I began to take a look at how I celebrate Thanksgiving…

I begin to plan…

Who is coming?

What time we should eat?

What should the menu include?

Then I begin to prepare…

Look up recipes…

Make a grocery list…

Go grocery shopping, several trips…

Clean the house…

Decorate the house…

But, Lord, these are all good things.

These are what keep the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving with family.

What is it that You want me to see about thankfulness?

“Wilma, these are good things. They are part of tradition and celebration, but it is the value you place on them that is what I want you to see. Whenever you put more value on your plans and on your preparation than upon Me it isn’t about being thankful, it is about striving and meeting expectations. Remember what I spoke to Martha…

“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me. But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Oh, Yes, the Mary, Martha story!

Martha was caught up in the plans and preparations, striving to have her house look immaculate, and her food taste delicious. Martha’s heart was caught up in the things that didn’t matter, things that didn’t have eternal value. It was her heart that was revealed when she went to Jesus and asked Him to tell Mary to help her. Martha became overwhelmed with all the work and when she wasn’t able to meet her expectations she became offended toward her sister. It was her heart that Jesus responded to. Martha’s heart wasn’t focused on the one thing that was worth being concerned about.

A heart that is driven by expectations becomes easily offended when those expectations aren’t fulfilled.

Thanksgiving Day, just as any other day, can become all about my plans and my preparations, my striving to fulfill expectations that keep me from sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to His words.

Jesus told Martha that Mary chose what was best, and that it wouldn’t be taken from her.

A heart becomes thankful in the presence of God. Sitting at Jesus’ feet, and listening to His words instills perspective and brings a deep appreciation to God that results in an outflow of thanksgiving. Jesus knew the importance of sitting at His feet, listening to His word. Jesus honored Mary’s choice, He affirmed what she had discovered, and told Martha that it would not be taken from her.

Lord, thank You for challenging me with Your word about thanksgiving. May this Thanksgiving Day truly be a day of thankfulness expressed towards You. And may I rediscover the importance of sitting at Your feet, listening to Your words, each and every day so that my heart is filled and overflows with thanksgiving to You.

 

 

 

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