No. 55. Thanksgiving that takes us deeper

Colours of the Rainbow > Thanksgiving > No. 55. Thanksgiving that takes us deeper

FOMO or ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ is not a new phenomena. In todays’ world however, that fear is increased by the consumerism underpinning  our society, and the social media that enables us all to view and compare the lives of other people with our own.  We can often feel that we are missing out on the excitement or adventure that is in other peoples lives, even in other Christian lives.

In this current season we are all missing out on a great number of things. Some of us we have ‘missed out’ on seeing our new born grandchild grow and change in their first year of life, for others it’s visiting an elderly parent in the last stages of their life. It’s all sorts of things for all sorts of people but today I believe the Lord is saying to each of us that we need have no fear that we will miss out on all that He has for us.

The truth is, we have an infinite God, and there is always more of whatever we need. His love, His forgiveness, His wisdom, His provision, it all flows from His heart of abundance. There is never any shortage in God, not even of His plans and purpose for us when we feel we might have blown it. It’s a staggering truth that when I wake up in the morning, all that I need from God for the day ahead is available. There is never an empty shelf or a ‘sold out’ sign from heaven.

The prophet Ezekiel had an incredible vision of water flowing from the temple. The water flows and becomes a river flowing out to the east. It flows into the sea (the dead sea) where the waters are healed and become alive again with fish. In fact he saw that everything was alive where the river flowed. On the banks trees grew fruit every month producing food, and there was healing in the leaves of the trees. Ezekiel 47:1-12.

The picture is repeated in Revelation 22:1,2 and here the river is explicitly called the ‘water of life’ flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb. It is a beautiful picture of the life God pours out over us, because of Jesus. It’s a river we can all come to and drink from and swim in. It’s the flow of life bought for us on the cross by Jesus, and it brings healing and fruitfulness into our lives.

At the beginning of the passage Ezekiel  is encouraged to follow his guide who takes him into the river. As he goes the  water gets deeper and deeper. He is first of all ankle deep, then up to his knees, then his hips until finally he is unable to walk and has to swim. It’s quite a picture of the abundance of the life flowing from the Lord that is available to us His people. Far from us missing out, this vision speaks, not just of abundant supply, but of an invitation from God to keep going ‘deeper’ with Him, to know that there is always more about His amazing love to discover.

I guess wading in that river, ever deeper, would have needed some determination, pushing against water takes deliberate effort. In the same way, it is also hard sometimes to venture further into God’s love, because we may have to push through our negative thoughts and feelings that would serve to slow us down. Thoughts like, ‘I can’t ask God to forgive me for that again’. Or ‘God must be so tired of me keep asking for help with this problem, I should have more faith’. 

 Pushing through those negatives, and going deeper into the love of God is so much easier if we have hearts of gratitude and thanksgiving. If we can thank the Lord for what we do know of His unfathomable love and faithfulness, we will position ourselves to receive more. Our hearts, minds and spirits will receive His love so much more readily. Thanksgiving will take us deeper into His love.

 Eugene Peterson in the Message, paraphrases Ephesians 3:17-19 like this. ‘And I ask Him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimension of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length. Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights, Live full lives, full in the fullness of God’       There really is no end to it, Thank you Jesus!


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