"And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might...So David and all the house of Israel were bringing the ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the trumpet."
2 Samuel 6:13-15
Today we come to the end of our Thankful Heart study. What a more fitting way than to focus on the different celebrations that we encounter on the path of life. We have so many things to be thankful for, so...let's get the party started! Think of victories in your lifetime that call for joyful cheers, clapping hands, and happy dances. Here are some celebrations that come to mind: the birth of a child or grandchild, a wedding of a son or daughter, a milestone birthday, a win in an athletic event, high school and college graduations, and a long-awaited job offer. When thinking things through, I have to say, my daughter's wedding was one of the highlights of my life. So much planning and so many prayers went into this one event. I didn't know what to expect; I just wanted it to be a God-honoring celebration for all. The friends that helped to make the whole day possible, the family that traveled from near and far away, the setting underneath a lighted tent...all so much at once...it was almost like I was in a dream! However, I knew it was not because I never would have dreamt to have a wedding on the hottest day/evening of the summer. Rolling sweat was a common bonding experience for all there. Nevertheless, on July 22, 2017, we danced the night away.
In our Scripture reading today, I imagined myself in the midst of some of the victories of old, celebrating with God's people. Wow, what would it have been like to be a part of the celebration after the crossing of the Red Sea? Or when King David brought the ark of God into Jerusalem? Or to hear the angels sing (then and now) when a sinner repents and believes? This same God still gives us victories today.
What about you? What milestones in life are you thankful for? Take some time to reflect on these specific blessings throughout your lifetime. Journal a thanksgiving prayer to God about one or all of these victories. Share with us and let's thank Him together for His faithfulness.
For further reading: Exodus 14:26-31, 15:1-3; Ruth 4:13-15; 2 Samuel 6:12-15; Luke 15:10
There is no doubt that life on this earth is full of struggle, hardship, sorrow, and pain. I first want to thank You for Your compassion and grace to meet us in these places of our lives. But God, let us also agree with these words: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits" (Psalm 103:1-2). We thank You, dear Father, for the thrilling and celebratory moments in each of our lives. May our reflection on these cherished times be an offering of praise to You. And God, I pray that we can keep the Thankful Hearts that have been cultivated over the past month not only through this upcoming holiday weekend, but also each and every day You give us a heartbeat. "Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord" (Psalm 150:6). In Your Name. Amen.