The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Part 8 - "The Observer"
Were it possible for some being to exist outside God and humanity who witnessed the relationship of the Divine and the human, the observer would come away with several perspectives. First, he would determine, "This God is a being of immeasurable lovingkindness, grace, and mercy. He gives and gives and gives." Conversely, the witness's view of human beings would be far less respectful. "Even the most devoted among them fall far short in genuine appreciation and gratitude for a God so possessed of wondrous generosity. And some never give thanks at all!"
"He is kind unto the unthankful" (Luke 6:35).
It would be embarrassing if such a watcher of Divine/human affairs did actually exist. Thankfully, this is not the case. The disturbing implication of the illustration remains, however. Every honest human heart must acknowledge the vast deficit that exists in our giving of thanks. In one sense, this is inevitable because our Heavenly Father "gives and gives and gives" to the degree we could never fully express our appreciation for the "wonders without number" He bestows upon us (Job 9:10). However, it remains true that none of us have begun to feel gratitude or express thanksgiving in adequate response to the undeserved goodness of God. "What hast thou that thou didst not receive?" asked the Apostle Paul (I Corinthians 4:7). We all know the answer - or we should. Moreover, as considered in yesterday's message, we all know that God's giving comes to us only because the sacrifice of His Son purchased everything He will ever bestow upon us. "He that spared not His own Son, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).
This is written first as a reminder and challenge to my own heart. My deficit of thanksgiving is vast in light of both God's gracious generosity and my neglect. Perhaps you share the sense of wonder and remorse. If so, we do well to remember that our Lord's giving includes His longsuffering patience with us. He does not condemn His trusting children in Christ for our failure to adequately realize and respond to His kindness. He does, however, desire that we better know His provision and our need. Thereby we more and more walk in truth, and thereby we also more and more access His abundant supply of "all things." Genuine thanksgiving inevitably results, and if that observer did exist, hopefully he might say of us: "Well, at least they seem to know to some degree how good is their God, and how much more and better they need to give Him thanks." So be it, and may we all grow in our own personal observation of the Lord's measureless generosity, and that we must join the Psalmist in his desire to better appreciate the wonder...
"I… will yet praise Thee more and more."
Weekly Memory Verse
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
(I Thessalonians 5:18)