Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are soared to the top of my list of all-time favorite books after reading it a couple years ago. Her way with words left an imprint on my mind and the more I mulled over these thoughts my heart was pierced too.This month as I’ve seen the posts of many Facebook friends who have faithfully documented something each day they are thankful for I was reminded again of the book. In much the same way, Voskamp made a habit of recording the daily blessings in her life.In fact, her initial goal of listing one thousand blessings morphed in to a life of “ThanksLiving.” A life filled with joy despite the suffering and pain she had experienced. Joy even in the mundane things of life. Joy that took root in her heart and shaped her life. But what can’t be missed is the connection between thanks-giving, joy and Christ. In rediscovering joy her true gain was really Seeing Christ!Seeing Christ give thanks in Luke 22:19 as He broke bread with His disciples at His last supper. This thanks-giving just before He was to be crucified…before His Father would reject His cry…before God would turn His back to His only Son.Yet, Jesus gave thanks…How with what He faced? Why when He was about to die?In turning to the Bible’s original Greek language Voskamp discovered what we too must grasp. “Eucharisteo” is the Greek word for THANKSGIVING with it’s root “Charis” meaning GRACE. “Charis” coming from “Chara” which is JOY.Track with me here. When Jesus took the bread, He saw it as GRACE and gave THANKS…despite what He was about to endure, or perhaps because of His eternal perspective of what He was about to endure for us! As written in Hebrews 12:2 Jesus did so “for the JOY that was set before (him)…”The JOY of knowing God’s GRACE could then be poured out on all His children. To God be the glory! We offer our praise…our THANKSGIVING.THANKSGIVING…GRACE…JOY. Voskamp calls these words “a threefold cord that might hold life.” Words that give meaning and “offer a way up into the fullest life.”Can we in looking for the blessings in our lives view them as Grace? And when we see them as Grace do we discover a deep-seeded Joy?And as Voskamp posed – “Is the height of my “Chara” Joy dependent on the depths of my “Eucharisteo” Thanks?“She goes on to say that, “The holy grail of joy is not in some exoctic location or some emotional mountain peak experience…here, in the messy, peircing ache of now, joy might be – unbelievably – possible! The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now.” Today, this Thanksgiving Day, ask God to help you…
To look for GRACE.
To give THANKS.
To know that He is the only place of JOY. Even when we are suffering, grieving, bored, discontent, lonely, struggling, unhappy. And also when we are successful, challenged, content, loved and happy.
True Thanksgiving comes in seeing that He was the Bread broken so that you might have Life and have it abundantly. He is the only source for Joy in all seasons and the only way to ThanksLiving.
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