I have to admit, I have lost track of time this week. It seems like the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve just melded together. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we were just sitting on the couch eating Christmas treats (although that did happen). There has been so much going on, so many great experiences to remember. But I have lost track and have not done half of what I wanted to do. I think we can all relate.
There have been a few moments this week that have made me stop in the midst of the craziness: A moment holding my son who will soon start school and thinking of how much I will miss our at-home time; or a moment with friends wishing that the clock would just stop so that I could sit here and laugh and talk forever; a moment shopping for makeup with my mom, both of us acting like it was an everyday occurrence but both of us knowing it was a special time. These moments are the things I find myself saying Thank You for today. My soul is glorifying my Lord for these simple gifts.
But what happens when I go back to my daily routine? Will I stop and be thankful? Will I remember what being thankful feels like? Will I remember to let my soul glorify Him?
I believe that the way to make this happen in my life is to live in anticipation of what God has ready for me; to live in the hope of the next thing I can Thank Him for.
I have an example of what this anticipatory living looks like and it just happens to be located in the Bible after the verses I know we all read in church last week:
“And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:36-38
Two verses. That’s all. And most people very rarely speak about her. But I promise you, not one word in the Bible is there by accident. So what made Anna rate two verses in the most Holy book of all time? She was in the right place and she did not depart from it. She was waiting for what God was bringing, and she gave thanks and spread the word when she saw the promise fulfilled by the presence of the baby Jesus.
For just two verses, they are kind of jam packed with back story. We know that she was married for seven years and we can assume she had been a widow for quite some time as we know she was eighty-four. We have a connection to others we have heard about (the tribe of Asher) and a family she belongs to through her father’s name (Phanuel). Luke did not leave her as a nameless person who also happened to be in the temple. Luke told us the story of a woman whose heart was waiting to say Thank You to a God she knew and a God who promised He would provide a deliverer. Her life became one big Thank You to God as she faithfully waited for that Savior. I can imagine the light coming off of her as she saw the fulfillment of the promise she had spent most, if not all, of her life waiting for. I imagine they could not stop her from talking about it all the rest of her days.
So, are we living in anticipation of God’s hand in the world or are we going to forget to wait for Him and miss the moment to Thank Him?
Let us not forget: Our God has promised, Our God is Good, and our very lives should be a Thank You for the things He has done and is going to do. Let the light of your thankfulness shine. Don’t ever stop telling everyone about what He has done. This is how our soul says Thank You to Him.
Have a Thankful New Year!