*A nasty virus (human not computer) has caused this post to be a two-for-one kind of thing. This topic is worth it though 🙂 *
So much has happened since we entered this year with a cry of “Happy New Year!” and for some of us a cry of “I’m going to sleep now!”(at 12:01). I’ll spare you the details of my last few days, I’m sure we have all been faced with challenges and temptations to let our Thankfulness slide away. But through all that has been happening one idea has been jumping around in my head like a puppy in a travel crate: Precious. What is precious to us? What makes it precious? What does this mean for the way that I feel and express Thankfulness? And finally, what is precious to God?
First what is precious? We probably all immediately think of a least one thing, often home and family or time with God. But is it an objective measure? I don’t think so. I’ll tell you why:
My sons spent time playing outside at my parents house this Christmas break and while they were there, discovered the new foundation of sand and rocks my dad had laid for his new shed. This was a momentous discovery for them. And why? Because of rocks. They love rocks. They spent hours sorting them and found the most beautiful and precious sparkly ones they could and put them proudly on the arm of my mother’s Adirondack chair. Now, there is nothing inherently valuable about these rocks as far as I am aware (I’m not a geologist, I just mom here). So, what makes my boys so amazingly grateful for these sparkly rocks? They are precious to my boys, the boys made them worth something by wanting them and loving them.
I guess I’ve answered my first two questions all in one. First, the things we want and love are the things we find precious and it is that very wanting and loving that makes them precious (kind of circular, but I think if we stop for a minute it will begin to make sense). So, why am I taking a scalpel to this word? What does it have to do with being Thankful?
I love my family (as I hope is evident in this blog) and I thank God for them with a greater fervency than I thank God for the weather or a great parking space. I’m sure if you take a minute you can think of one thing that you find precious and thank God for with the same fervency. Our wanting and loving (making precious) has made us Thankful in a deeper way than if we just go down the list of what we should thank God for and spin off a little prayer.
Let’s look to the Psalmist for an example of what happens when you thank God for what you find precious.
Look at Psalm 139. David spends the first 16 verses of this beautiful and enthusiastic psalm talking about how much God knows and how there is nothing beyond His knowledge and then here is verse 17:
“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:17
David placed the thoughts and actions of God in his list of things that are precious. He examined them and thought about them and was amazed by them. His amazement fed into an effusiveness that resulted in the Psalm that so many of us love to read. He was so thankful, because he made God’s thoughts his precious thing.
So, perhaps we should try something now. Let’s put God’s thoughts and actions into the precious category in our own heart. Let’s examine them with the same amazement and rapture that my boys afforded those shiny rocks. Wait a minute…we have something here.
Shiny rocks, that is all that some of the things we find precious in our lives amount to when all is taken into account. But God is more than our shiny rocks. Let us treat Him and His thoughts with all of the amazement and rapture we have been devoting to other things. I promise this tiny move will change your Thankfulness patterns.
But there is more to this word precious that I haven’t addressed:
God Finds You Precious.
You are not worthy of this placement by anything that you have done. You are precious because God loves you.
If you read through Luke Chapter 15, you will find three stories told by Jesus in an attempt to help us understand how God feels about bringing us close to Him again. First he tells us about a shepherd looking for a lost sheep, leaving the others just to find the one. Then he tells us about a woman who lost a coin and did what I think we have all done in our houses: turned on the bright lights and swept under all of the furniture to find it. Finally, he tells the story of the son who rejected his father and ran away only to begin to regret and run home to a welcoming father. All of these stories end in the shepherd, the woman or the father rejoicing over the return of the precious one.
I will end with this then:
You are precious to God and your life matters to Him, so much that He gave his Son to be a sacrifice so that you could be near Him. Be thankful. Your God is amazing. Make Him precious in your life. Be thankful.