When your heart is full--how to say "Thanks"

I’ve recently enjoyed spending time with a very special little person. 

Just over a year old, Lauren is a 24-pound bundle of curiosity, wonder, and fun. She reminds me how delightful it is to look at the world with new eyes. Everything’s an adventure. The most mundane objects (dog toys, light switches, and kitchen gadgets) are fascinating and worthy of exploration and investigation.

This isn't Lauren, but apparently she likes strawberries, too.
One fun aspect of hanging out with Lauren is watching her eat. I’m not surprised, really, after an exclusive diet of mommy’s milk for most of her life, that she finds food delightful. 

I love how she interacts with me about her food. If she’s hungry, she asks (as only a one-year-old can) for something to eat or drink. When we sit down to eat, she turns eager eyes toward me, confident that I will share whatever I have. If the steady supply of grapes or strawberries slows, she asks for more. Her trust that I will supply her need and her frequent requests for more fills my heart with happiness. I enjoy being her bountiful provider.

Psalm 116 reminds me God feels the same way.

It’s apparent that the psalmist’s heart was overwhelmed by God’s goodness when he penned this song of gratitude and praise. His thanks just bubbles out:

“Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low and he saved me. . . You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling” (v. 8).
And because the psalmist is overwhelmed with gratitude, his natural response is to want to do something wonderful for God in return: 

“What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?” He asks. How can I bless God like he’s blessed me?
Listen to the unusual conclusion at which he arrives:

“I will lift up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord” (v. 13).

Lifting up (or celebrating) our salvation makes sense to me, but calling upon the name of the Lord? How does  praying to God express love and gratitude to him? Asking him for more seems like the opposite of thankfulness. 

If a stranger gave me a hundred dollars, I don’t know if he’d feel especially blessed if I said, “Thanks, now may I have another hundred?”

Except God isn’t a stranger. He’s a rich, loving, generous provider who DELIGHTS in giving good gifts to his children (Luke 11:13).

Just like I love sweet baby Lauren, God loves me. Because he loves me, it gives him great pleasure when I come to him in faith and trust to ask for what I need. It gives him even greater pleasure to pour out his provision on me and see me smile.
So the next time your heart bubbles up in gratitude because of how God has worked in your life and you want to bless him back, stop and pray. Talk with him about whatever your needs are and trust him to answer your prayers as only he can. 

It will bless him, and it will bless you.

For what are you thankful today? And what are you asking God to do for you in the future? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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1 comment:

  1. Precious reminder, Lori. Oh how He loves you and me!