So much of what we have learned about becoming women of purpose is just a matter of living as Christ-followers– responding to God as creatures should, and being transformed as believers should, walking in newness of life as agents on a mission, partners in His plan to restore creation. If we find a calling specific to us within that purpose, all the better, but we could live a whole life of shining love and doing good, and fulfill His purpose beautifully.
Something stood out to me in one of King David’s songs this week; as many times as I have read the short 100th psalm, I never noticed the connection between belonging to God and thankfulness. Right in the middle there the king tells us to “Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His….” It is short and direct, something every creature needs to know: the Creator is God and you are not.
Get that much clear and a whole lot of other things in life straighten themselves out too. Remember this, as we prepare for the holiday where we give thanks…while we organize people and plan meals and arrange transportation and vacation time…that there is Someone who made all this, owns all this, rules all this, and the holiday is precisely about giving thanks for what He has provided, even when we make a lot of fuss about our own makings. “We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture….” who truly need a Shepherd to take care of them, because there are some things we can control in this world and so many we cannot. Good thing He is always taking care of us, whether we stop to recognize it and give thanks, or not.
But when you do stop and recognize that He is God and you are not, that it is He who rules over creation and provides for every small living creature, including yourself, thanksgiving is the only proper response.
The king sings it out in the next lines, flowing from one thought to the next so naturally that praise becomes the obvious overflowing of a person who knows his identity: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!”
It’s easy to forget sometimes that all this is gift and grace. Easy to take life for granted because it’s all we’ve ever known, and easy to wish we had something different, when we compare ourselves to others. Except that we could just as easily compare ourselves to the starving, and the naked and diseased, to see how very blessed we are. David paints it rightly, that our worship comes in full knowledge of our dependence on His goodwill and kindness. And we bless His name for who He is, because “the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever….” We are the Found Sheep who belong to a loving God, and it is our purpose to give thanks.
Come, ye thankful people, come…
“I am thankful for right now. God, I AM is in this moment, and in His presence is fullness of joy .” (Ann VosKamp)