Some time ago, Andrae Crouch penned these words: “How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me? Things so undeserved, yet You gave to prove Your love for me. The voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude. All that I am, and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee.“
These words capture the essence of this special time of the year.
God has once again enabled sunshine and rain, soil and seed to work together to provide food that we’re going to need in the coming months. Martin Luther once reminded us that our “daily bread” consists of food and drink, clothing and shoes, houses and farms, money and property and spouses, little children and good government, good weather, peace, good health, good friends and neighbors, and all the rest…. We remember, as Christians, that when all manner of sin overwhelms us, God continues to choose us and bring us near, and for that we give thanks and praise.
Psalm 65 is one of my favorite psalms. The psalmist lifts up the peace that comes at sunset as a time to simply stop and rest in the arms of God, and the psalmist invites us to celebrate the joy of each day’s sunrise as a sign of new beginnings. The psalmist reminds us that God cares for the earth by filling irrigation ditches with water, by softening soil with gentle rain, by blessing the earth with growth and abundance, and even by calming storms and bringing an end to human conflicts. What a wonderful and amazing God we have!
The words of Andrea Crouch are not simply a statement of faith. His words are a question. How can we ever begin to adequately give thanks for the blessings that God has poured into our lives? How can we say thanks to the God who continues to choose us and bring us near when we are overwhelmed by the power of sin? How can we say thanks to the wonderful God who softens the soil with gentle rain and who combines that rain with sunshine, warmth and soil to feed us? How can we begin to thank God for food and drink, clothing and shoes, houses and farms, money and property and spouses, little children and good government, good weather, peace, good health, good friends and neighbors, and all the rest?
The Season of Harvest is a time of the year when we celebrate the incredible power of God at work in our lives and in our world. And the Season of Harvest is also a time when we are challenged to ask ourselves: “How can I give thanks for the things that God has done for me?” All that we are and ever hope to be is the result of God’s power at work in our lives; and our response to God’s love, mercy and bounty is how we give thanks and praise to the God who continues to bless us.