Thank You Feels Good
I was in the kitchen, trying to wake up enough to prevent myself from being burned by angry coconut oil. I flipped a slice of yam with a fork and the oil crackled in protest. The counter was covered with lunch in various stages: grilled pork from the night before was suffocating in a crumple of saran-wrap, a bag of “power greens” salad mix eagerly awaited a balsamic vinegar bath, and peeled carrots looked skeptically at the small snack bags that they were supposed to fill. The kitchen, and by extension, myself, was in full “We overslept and only have 20 minutes before we need to be in the car,” mode.
My wife walked into the kitchen and before her usual groggy “Good morning”/hug combo, she pushed a small piece of paper into my free hand, “Thank you for waking me up! 🙂” it said.
A few minutes later I slid a plate of eggs onto the table between our seats. It wasn’t my best work. It looked like a slumping yellow volcano with red chili lava dripping off the sides.
She smiled and wordlessly extended her hands: another piece of paper, “Thank you for making us breakfast!” it said.
The whole morning went like this. When I dropped her off at school, she kissed me goodbye and handed me two more slips of paper.
“Thank you for praying with me.”
“Thank you for driving me to school.”
After another kiss goodbye, she walked the long sidewalk to the main doors and then she was gone for another day. I sat alone in the car and let waves of love wash over me. She had anticipated everything I had done, and more than that, she chose, in advance, to thank me for those small things.
The waves kept coming.
They were long deliberate waves that stretched across the shore of my soul. Cool and refreshing. I had heard one time that compliments were like tiny presents, and I am convinced that so are “thank-yous.” I had been loved by my wife in a way I didn’t think was possible. It was simple. It was deliberate. It was wonderful. Wonderful love, isn’t that God’s love for us? Isn’t that what it feels like to be loved by Him every single day?
Then I started wondering if God would want me to thank him the same way my wife thanked me.
Would God accept the same attitude of thanks from me? Would he enjoy being tenderly thanked for everything that he does for me?
I think so.
I’m reminded of those times when Jesus, in the middle of the chaos, the crowds, the screaming, the fighting, the begging and the pleading, He stops and thanks his father for something.
“In that same hour he [Jesus] rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” Luke 10:21
I love that. I know it’s a simple concept, to thank God, but after having experienced it first hand, I believe that it is a profound one as well.
Paul says to be thankful many times in his letters to the bodies of believers.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.”
Ephesians 5:18-21 “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Or again, in Colossians, when Paul talks about how he and Timothy always gave thanks as they prayed for the body of believers, he says,
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.” (Colossians 1:3-5)
As Christians, thanksgiving should be a part of our spiritual makeup, as much as sodium is necessary in salt, hydrogen in water, and carbon in graphene.
There is so much joy to give our father. If I, a son of God stuck in a sinful body can get such joy from my wife’s small gesture, think about how much joy it will give our father when we make thanking him as much of a priority as we make going to work or eating lunch. It’s probably a lot.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a piece of paper a pen and a pair of scissors. I have a feeling that my wife would love a few thank you notes of her own.
“Thank you, for loving me so well.”
“Thank you, for listening to me.”
“Thank you, for my good morning hugs.”
Until next time, go lose your life!