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“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23

I love November.

This is the season of thankfulness. This is the time of year when we set our hearts on remembering the goodness in our lives; a time of recalling God’s faithfulness and graciousness towards us. Before we rush into the whirlwind of Christmas, we pause and reflect and give thanks.

Every day should really be Thanksgiving. We know this. I think sometimes that little reminder can feel like a tiny prick to the heart when we find ourselves feeling less than blessed. When our carts are hardly boasting with abundance, gratitude may be the last thing on our minds. And yet, this is the very time to give thanks.

Psalms tells us that “he who sacrifices thank offerings honors me.” What is a sacrifice? It is something we have to lay down on the altar. And in the laying it down there is some discomfort. It’s not the once-a-year thanksgiving prayer that we participate in because it’s part of the tradition. It is the daily offering of praise even when the thanksgiving comes out of our brokenness.

And that is just the point, I believe.

The gratitude and praise, the offering of thanksgiving that comes out of a broken heart, is honoring to God.

He’s not looking for our stories to be completed with a happily-ever-after before we come to him and give thanks. On the contrary, what truly honors God is when our thanks comes as a sacrifice. When it seems that there is nothing much to be grateful for, and yet we still recognize the goodness and faithfulness and rightness of God, and we lay our pain on the altar and give thanks to our Creator, we honor God far more than all the Christmas morning squeals of delight for the gifts we receive. Thankfulness from brokenness is worship that prepares the way for the Lord. And it means so much more.

As we reflect on God’s faithfulness throughout our lives, and as we nestle in to the warmth of the thanksgiving season, let us also find the willingness and boldness to thank God for the brokenness as well. Out of that sacrifice will come joy. Not the bouncing, playful joyfulness maybe we long for, but joy that comes from obedience and trust.

Brokenness is pleasing to God.

A broken heart that sacrifices praise and thanksgiving honors the Lord.

And from this sacrifice will come salvation.

My challenge to myself, and to you, is to not just thank God for all that is right in our lives, but to lay down all that is not so right as well, and give thanks.

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