|A Sacrifice of Thanks|
by Joni Eareckson Tada
"He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God." Psalm 50:23
Suppose a woman with arthritis关节炎 in her hands embroidered绣 a set of pillowcases枕套 for you as a "thank you" gift. The gift would mean more to you than if sewn by a woman with nimble灵活的 fingers. Why? Because the arthritic woman expended extraordinary effort. Her "thank you" involved cost and sacrifice. You'd weigh the extra hours she invested, the frequent breaks she took to rub her knuckles指关节, the pain she endured with each tiny stitch. Most likely, you would be moved to tears. Her suffering "glorified" her gratitude, making it more valuable in your eyes.
If we respond this way to sacrifices, how much more is God enthused热情 when we sacrifice thank offerings to Him? When trials sandblast喷沙 you to the core and your bruised青肿的 feelings are screaming, "Forget God!" or your weary mind is too clouded to see through the fog, this is the time to express to God gratitude感激. True, such gratitude involves cost and sacrifice -- it costs your logic and you sacrifice your pride. But your thank offering is glorified as you push through the pain to present gratitude to God for His blessings.
Is there a trial which is souring变酸 your disposition性情 toward God? Fostering培养 doubts? Drying up your zeal热情? You have a chance to change that as you honor God today with a sacrifice of thanksgiving. List the many things for which you can give thanks, including the basics of life, or the support of friends. Your suffering will shape your thanksgiving into a true sacrifice of gratitude, preparing the way for God to shower grace upon grace on you. Don't postpone it. Sacrifice to Him now.
I thank You, Lord, for the ability to see, hear, think, pray, the blessings of shelter, food, friends and the many other evidences of Your love. I'm hurting in this trial... but it helps to present You this sacrifice of thanks.
Joni and Friends