Not Where You Are Now, But Where You WIll Be


When I am in an eat-a-bowl-of-brownie-mix mood, and Seth’s jokes aren’t funny anymore, and I imagine kicking the meter reader in the shins for ringing my doorbell while the kids are sleeping, I ask myself where my gratitude went. Why do I not walk around in a constant state of thanksgiving when my life is filled to the brim with blessing? 
Lately, I’ve googled a few writerly friends (total internet stalker) to see how their work is going, and it’s been so fun to see some of their faces and read a few of their lines. It has also been fun to see all my friends’ pictures of the beach. It’s been fun, but a furnace door has opened up inside me, and I liked to have burned down because of it. Where is my gratitude for this sweet spot I’m in? 
The other day I was reading Psalm 116 and saw the phrase “sacrifice of thanksgiving.” Because it completely stumps me, I had to look it up in the Hebrew and Greek like any good theologian should, and I found the coolest thing – especially in regard to my weak contentment skills.
Sacrifice in this phrase means to extend the hand in adoration as a confession and is from the root word that means to use the hand and worship with extended hands. This gives me better reason to lift my hands at church as a confession (I’ve never really done that for a lot of reasons). Even more than that, though, the word sacrifice connotes an intentional act, not just of the heart, but of the hand. It means to do thankfulness – work it out.
I have always thought of gratitude as a lip-service I owe God, but that cannot be true. If we had access to such currency, I wouldn’t have to explain to Isaac why their is blood on Jesus in all the pictures. 
A sacrifice of thaksgiving is the inability to leave your house for weeks and finally getting out only to have your toddler scream bloody murder and wet his pants before you put your babies back into the car and drive home. Gratitude is lifting your hands to the top shelf of the refrigerator for a cup of yogurt for the hungry, still-crying boy. 
Much more than that, gratitude is a suffering Godman, arms up in the air, saying They don’t know what they do. Forgive them. 
Does it make sense that it helps me? My heart is changing as I DO thanksgiving – not because I am paying God back – but just because He did it, and in so doing, He expected with utmost hope to be rescued from Death, and He was, and He sits Alive by the Ancient of Days, and I will, too, and that is everything that there is – not screaming and yogurt and seashells on the condominium walls. Only grace. Only one finished work that gets me to the other side – 
come 
what 
may.

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amberhaines
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1 Comments

melissa
Reply September 3, 2009

love this post. where are all the comments? reading you from the beginning. i do this sometimes. don't be scared.

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