The other morning I woke up from a rather uncomfortable night's sleep in a tent on the ground to the sound of dozens of birds singing and chirping. The sun poured through branches to land on leaves, and mixed with the morning dew to produce a fragrant offering filling my nostrils and His with beauty. I rolled my too-old-for-this body over to look up through the mesh at God's glorious sunrise and though my back screamed ouch, my heart and my voice sang thank You.
About a year ago, the same friend whose lawn I awoke on gave me a beautiful book about giving thanks called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp that literally changed my life. In the pages she unfolds the love of God in the midst of painful life, and our gifted response of writing and counting thanksgiving in the every-day moments of God's all encompassing Grace. In it she depicts how all is grace and when we see our gifts and THANK Him for them, we live as Christ did. The new testament Greek word for this is Eucharisteo or being thankful for God's good grace. And so I took her same challenge to count one thousand things to thank God for in my every-day life. I must confess I should have been done months ago, but because of some dark sifting months during the winter, I've had some delays. And thank You, Lord for forgiveness, mercy, grace, salvation, and a million second-chances as I fall and stand back up again. Today I count on and my journal says #924. Almost there.
Today as Father holds my hand and walks me through His precious Word, I look up through the mesh and see the healing beauty of thanksgiving again today in the book of Nehemiah. Four times, actually, in chapter 12 alone. In verses 27 and 40 the Hebrew word is todah - choir(s), thanksgiving, praise, sacrifices of thanks, thank offerings, and confession. In verses 24 and 46 the word is yadah - to throw/cast, thanks, confess, give praise, give thanks, hymns of thanksgiving, glorify.
"For the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem, the Levites throughout the land were asked to come to Jerusalem to assist in the ceremonies. They were to take part in the joyous occasion with their songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres." - Nehemiah 12:27
I confess my life is full of writing. Writing is my craft, and actually #923 says I'm thankful for pens and paper to wield my talent for His glory. But today I'm challenged to sing my thanks, in light of Nehemiah and David. I'm not a very talented singer. Not a Levite, choir member, or worship leader, not even on the worship team. But I do believe God's presence inhabits the praises of His people, and more than anything in heaven or earth, what I WANT is to be with Him and Him with me. So today I'm singing songs of thanksgiving, as well as counting and writing them. I'm so thankful and may my song be a pleasing sound in His ears.
This bird sings thanks to Father.