A Thankful Heart Prepares the Way
Sometimes I forget that God hears prayer, and when he answers, I look at some new blessing and think it's just something out of place.I will make with them an everlasting covenant,
I've been memorizing Colossians with my roomate over the past few months, and about halfway through chapter two it says to be "abounding in thanksgiving, just as you were taught." I realized of the little virtue I could identify in myself, thankfulness was not a part of it. So, I just started asking for it.
Of late, God has been giving incredible blessings and guidances in a lot of different forms, and this morning I started contemplating what he has given me, and I was just overwhelmed. He succeeds in magnifying himself by filling cups so full with abundant blessing, even when we're in sin and don't deserve it. And he reminded me that the way he gives to undeserving sons is one of the 'better promises' of the New Covenant that we all now enjoy who are the spiritual sons of Abraham.
that I will not turn away from doing good to them.
And I will put the fear of me in their hearts,
that they may not turn from me.
I will rejoice in doing them good,
and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness,
with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32 offers a lot of these 'better promises', and they're staggering. They're not just words, and they're not empty. They're backed up by an eternal legacy of a God who keeps his promises and is always true to his word. It's an everlasting covenant, meant for all who will believe and receive the blessing He promises through Abraham and Isaac. One of these is that he will not turn away from doing us good. It's not conditional. It's a simple promise. It's true, and I've tasted it. And I'm thankful.
But I've faced a new irony. Most of my life that I've been familiar with these same promises, I've found myself claiming all the parts about him doing us good, but paying little attention to the guarantee of him putting the fear of him in my heart, and the similar promise from Ezekiel 36 about being caused to walk in his statutes. And those are the ones I really want now, I think. Because I've figured out that the gifts and inheritance and do-gooding he does only go so far. If I don't have him and the assurance of his presence, the gifts are just so much sand through my fingers. I want to obey, because in that is the real, lavish gift he gives: