It may be a little cliche, but still appropriate to ask myself what I'm thankful for. It is Thanksgiving, after all. And, or course, I thought of the typical things like family, home, friends, food, and all the other necessities of life which God supplies. The fact that they are typical doesn't make them untrue. But then I thought of this.
I'm thankful for a God who loves us.
Duh. Is that too obvious? Well, I don't think that any of us really gets it.
We have heard that God is love, and we have seen the example of Jesus on the cross. We understand that He saves us because He loves us. But if you're like me then somewhere in your core is the warped idea that He loves us as a group, and you slip through the gate into heaven with the crowd. The idea that God loves you as an individual may not have occurred to you. Even if it has occurred to you it feels hard to swallow.
Lots of people all over the globe serve a God of rules and regulations. Some feel they better conform or God will squash them. Some feel that if they excel at the rule-keeping then they will shine above others. But if we're really honest about life and ourselves, we don't need a God of rules and regs. We conform to enough rules and regs. We conform to the rules of the IRS, the rules of the credit card company, the rules of school, and the rules of traffic. Usually. The point is, another set of rules is not what our spirits need. And God's rules are not meant to control and make us miserable. They are not part of a screening process to see who is good enough for heaven.
The truth is, no one is good enough for heaven. Not on our own.
Here's the great part. God wants to be with you. He longs to spend time with you because He loves you. You. Not just y'all. You individually. He looks forward to that time.
He has given us lots of illustrations of this, and here are just a few. We don't swallow our Thanksgiving meals in capsule or powdered form because it is more efficient or saves space in the fridge. We savor the delicious food. We even look forward to it as it approaches. Astronaut food may be interesting, but it isn't a feast worth savoring. We don't listen to music on fast forward to get it over with. We lose ourselves in the experience of it. You never see people jog through an art museum to get through it faster. They stand and stare at an image that stirs their spirits. People don't stand at the rim of the Grand Canyon, grunt, and walk away. They gaze in wonder at something so majestic. A postcard cannot do it justice. The grandeur of being there is captivating in ways one cannot understand unless you've been there.
God wants to savor being with you like we savor a great meal, glorious music, exquisite art, or natural splendor. You mean that much to Him.
I'm thankful for a God who loves me that much. That's why I continue to follow Him.