What’s on Your List?
Take a moment to scroll through your mental list of what you were thankful for last week. What is on your list? I wonder if you were surprised to find that it took longer to make the list than you would have thought. It did for me. Was there a list? Okay, maybe a whole week seemed lengthy—what about just today?
Something is going on that makes it hard to recall all we have to be thankful for. In fact, putting together a list of frustrations, disappointments, and unmet needs or wants seems to move at a quicker pace. We may place things on our list like being thankful the Suns won the first game in the playoffs in 11 years (if you’re a fan), but how quick are we to finish the thought with, “We’ll see if they can pull off the next win.”
We all have spiritual amnesia, a.k.a. unthankfulness. Sounds harsh, but in our short-focused, human vision, we continue to adjust the order of our lists depending on the latest satisfaction in things or circumstances. Our sinful hearts, left unchecked, are always longing for something that will only expire. We even dedicate our lives to a long pursuit of consuming what’s next on our horizon. How exhausting this is. It’s no wonder our cluttered minds can’t sift through to find the thankful parts.
Our sinful hearts, left unchecked, are always longing for something that will only expire.
It’s not just us—it is the human condition. Consider God’s warning to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:11-14. “Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His rules, His statutes which I command today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up and you forget the Lord your God.”
Return to that list. How much on it is about the Lord your God? Food expires, house value expires, and not many of us have herds or flocks, but we have cars or boats that will expire. Even silver and gold expire in value. After reading this, invest a bit of time to read through Psalm 107 and ask the Lord to bring remembrance to your heart what your personal and consuming world has forgotten.
Ask the Lord to bring remembrance to your heart what your personal and consuming world has forgotten.
Actually, our list should fill one line: by His grace, we are thankful for salvation in Jesus Christ first and only. After that, anything else falls into the proper place way below. A good exercise is to find a piece of lined paper and place “Christ is my Savior” at the very top and focus on that as all the other unfilled lines below represent what you might struggle to write.
Psalm 107 ends with verse 43, one that would be good to memorize: “Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things and consider the Lord’s act of faithful love.” Daily remembrance of His faithful love will keep your list in good order.