“I thank you, Lord, with all my heart; in the presence of the angels to you I sing.” Psalm 138:1* is the titled “Hymn of a Grateful Heart.
King David continues in Psalm 138:2-8:
“I bow low toward your holy temple; I praise your name for your mercy and faithfulness. For you have exalted over all your name and your promise.
On the day I cried out, you answered; you strengthened my spirit.
All the kings of the earth will praise you, Lord, when they hear the words of your mouth.
They will sing of the ways of the Lord: “How great is the glory of the Lord!”
The Lord is on high, but cares for the lowly and knows the proud from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of dangers, you guard my life when my enemies rage. You stretch out your hand; your right hand saves me.
The Lord is with me to the end. Lord, your mercy endures forever. Never forsake the work of your hands!”
I woke this morning at 4:15 thinking of how grateful I am for God in my life and my family. I’ve been struggling with my sleep schedule for years now. My best writing time is the early morning. I’ve wanted to get back to writing in the mornings.
Last night I was exhausted at eight. I had showered and finished my evening chores. I wanted to write a Thanksgiving post. I stared at the screen. I titled this post “Giving Thanks.” I thought, not too original but a place to start. I thought about all the things I am grateful for, the usual suspects and other more special memories surfaced. Nothing got written down. I just sat there thanking God for his gifts and his presence.
I looked at my clock, 8:30 p.m. I felt the exhaustion of day in my bones. I recalled my goal to get up and write every morning before for the household wakes. I set my alarm, grabbing my novel I went to bed. My alarm rang at 4 a.m. I slammed the snooze and snuggled back under my down comforter. Grateful, whispered through my brain. Huh?
Seven minutes later the alarm unsnoozed itself. I hit it again. This is a game I play with the alarm. It takes me a few snoozes to actually get out of a warm comfy bed. Again Grateful whispered through my head along with another word I didn’t grasp. By the third alarm, I woke. I had it. Grateful Heart…That is one of the lessons God has taught me through this journey. A Grateful Heart! Now I was cooking with gas!
I started my day by brushing the ol’ choppers, black coffee, and my trusty laptop. As I write this, I am in my nightshirt and my bootie slippers. All the night owls are still sleeping. It is 5:39 a.m. and I am writing again!
The last two years have been a struggle. There have been many losses. While it is easy to focus on the losses, today is a day Americans set aside to focus on our gifts from God and be grateful. Yes, that is the basis of the holiday, thanking God. George Washington established the holiday in 1789. In his address he states the purpose of the Thanksgiving Holiday:
“…Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be — That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks…
…And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions — to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually — to render our national government a blessing to all the people,…”
This morning, I looked up “grateful heart” in Bible Gateway’s search engine. The only reference I found in my limited search was Psalm 138. The term is in the title: Hymn of a Grateful Heart. King David wrote and sang of his gratitude for God’s hand in his life. Can you imagine how beautiful it is to hear King David singing praises to the Lord on high with his lyre?
I am grateful I learned of God at the knee of my faithful mother. Because of her I have the hope of an afterlife with God and listening to King David’s Lyre in my future. My gratitude list this Thanksgiving is long but in using the Psalm I can thank God in all areas of my life.
I am in the presence of God and the angels. Thank you God, for guiding me through my journey so far.
Thank you for your faithfulness and mercy to me a sinner. I bow to you in awe of your presence, name and promises.
When I cry out in my weakness you give me your strength.
Thank you for our leaders who hear your words and praise you.
“How great is the glory of the Lord!”
You care for me in my lowest state. When I am broken, tired, hungry, and lonely, I find I am blessed by the Almighty God of the Universe.
As I walk through the dangers of life with those who wish me harm, you guard me. With your hand stretched out, resting on my shoulder, you save me from perils large and small.
You, my Lord, never leave me. You never let me go. You fight for me, even against my own sin. You forgive me.
As King David sings: “your mercy endures forever. Never forsake the work of your hands!”
May your Thanksgiving be as blessed as ours,
*New American Bible Revised Edition