"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. His love endures forever." Psalm 136:1 (NIV)
It was shocking! I couldn't even stay there. I had to get right out! Let me explain. Last Saturday we had a lazy day at our house. We had an evening dinner engagement, so the time came when we all needed to get bathed and ready to go. Our nine year old asked if she could get a bath...instead of a shower (The girl loves a good long bath!) and I said, "Sure. But you won't get to stay in quite as long as usual." Time passed and I went in to get ready to take my shower. She was still in the tub...a garden tub which was filled almost to the top with water. Her hair was all nice and soapy and she was ready to rinse. As she turned on the faucet, which pumps water with the force of Niagara Falls, I said, "Honey, try not to use much more hot water. Daddy and I both have to take showers." Well, I was too late. I turned on the shower. I turned the handle as far as it would go in the HOT direction. I stepped in and waited a bit, to no avail. It was so cold! I had one hour to get ready. A shower was an absolute necessity. What would I do? I asked John, who according to Melea "knows everything," how long it takes for the hot water to refill and reheat. He said that it should only take about 10 minutes (which I didn't have to spare). I waited...doing everything I could to make wise use of the time...and decided that shaving my legs and washing my hair would have to wait for another day. When I got in, the water was a little warmer, at least tolerable. By the time John got in, the water heater had done its job. I was a little jealous. Anyway, we managed to get ready and make it to the dinner on time.
The next morning when I got in the shower, I really appreciated the hot water! I thanked God for hot water heaters...and a warm house...and the cozy bed I had slept in...the coffee that was brewing...the cinnamon toast that I would soon enjoy (compliments of a wonderful husband who takes such good care of us in the mornings...and always.) I was so aware of all of the things that I take for granted way too often. I spent that morning thanking God for one thing after another. I've tried to be very intentional since then to have a thankful heart.
As Valentine's Day approaches this week, I have an assignment for you. (Sorry, that's the teacher in me!) I hope you will attempt it...at least mentally, if not physically. Grab a piece of pink or red construction paper...or just any type of paper. Fold it in half, like you did as a child, and cut out a big heart. Just take a little time to jot down the things that you thank God for...big and small. Put it on your fridge or bathroom mirror or anywhere that it might serve as a reminder and a prompter of the thanks we owe to God. He is so good! And His love does endure forever. Let's join together in giving God big hearts of thanks this Valentine's Day.
And as Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus, "I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)
Lord, the greatest Valentine of all time, thanks for being ours. Thanks for claiming us as your own. Thank you for your unfathomable love for us. Lord, fill our hearts with Your love. And fill our hearts with gratitude for all you have done for us.