With a Heart of Thankfulness

I've heard it said that the good times are the easiest times to lose focus on God.

We often find ourselves turning to him for guidance, help, peace, strength, and wisdom, but the need for these things seems less immediate when everything is going well. When life is great, we can fall into "forgetting" about God because we might not feel like we need him as much as we do in more difficult times.

At church this morning between the first couple of songs, the pastor talked about how sometimes we get busy and kind of "forget" about God during the week. We show up on Sunday and remember our need for him. As he said this, I was searching my heart on this issue. I have not been "forgetting" about God during the week, I've been spending time with him and reading the word, but something has been different lately. I don't seem to have as much to talk to him about. Why? It could be because life has been great recently.

Something I've realized though, is that even when I don't need to talk to God to ask for strength, or to surrender something, or seek guidance on a decision, I can still come to him. Even if I don't have anything big to talk to him about right now, there's one thing I can always come to him with: Thankfulness. 

I can seek God just to praise him for who he is, just to thank him for the life I have. Just to pour out my heart before him and tell him how grateful I am for his love. This is the place I am in right now. I am just so blessed by his presence in my life and I want to tell him so.

When I'm in these sunny times of happiness and thankfulness, there is something different about my relationship with God- he goes beyond someone I seek for help, and beyond a place I search my heart and grow and change. God becomes someone I seek to enjoy.

God wants us to enjoy him. And he wants to enjoy us. I think we forget that that is a big part of who he is and his plan for us. To delight in his love. To bask in the sunshine of his providence. To praise him for creating us and redeeming us.

I wrote the following lyrics with a heart of thankfulness last year.

I am blessed beyond measure,
not just in my circumstances
but by the purpose and joy 
that is in my life because of you Jesus

He who is mighty has done great things
and holy is his name
your grace is written all over my life

You have touched my life 
with your love and mercy
and I am forever changed

One of the main landmarks in Hermiston is the Butte. It's a big tall land mass that you can climb up and get a nice view of the town. It's under a mile from our apartment. On one of the peaks there is a big white cross.  It has quickly become one of my favorite places to meet with God.

On an uncharacteristically warm February day a few weeks ago I made a last minute decision to catch the sunset from the Butte. I walked over quickly and was running out of time, so I skipped the switch backs and headed straight up the incline. As I climbed, my breathing heavy, the last bit of the warmth of the sun blending with the crisp of the evening, I could feel the anticipation of meeting with the Lord at the cross. He would be there waiting for me, just to enjoy me as I enjoy him.

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