Today if you are a reader of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media, you will find much on thankfulness, and that is good.
Many will give thanks for what they have, gifts of family, friends, of house and home and this too is good.
As I read a few Facebook posts this morning, one thought came to mind, “Who are they thanking?” My mom, was the first I noticed that closed her remarks with an attribution, closing her post with “Thank you God!”
Again, there is nothing wrong with a general sense of thankfulness particularly today, but doesn’t thankfulness to be truly thankful, need to be focused on someone or something? If thankfulness doesn’t go out from us, then it is about us and it isn’t really thankfulness, but rather a momentary congratulation of the self. As long as things are good, at least from our perspective, we can be thankful, but what if things don’t go our way? Then it is awfully hard to be thankful isn’t it?
Our reading today begins with the words “Sing to the Lord a new song!” This introduction focuses our thankfulness on God and all that God is and does. This focus isn’t just on us either, this is a broad and full thankfulness that includes everything in all of creation and everything that happens.
Can we be thankful when things go “sideways” in our lives, when things do not go our way (or at least the way we think we would like them to go), or when bad things happen to good people?
It is hard, I have been in situations like this, and most likely will be again, but in the midst of things Isaiah reminds us that God will not forsake us. Living in from this base understanding that we are deeply loved, that we ultimately will not be forsaken allows us to live thankfully, to sing to the Lord a new song each day. Somedays those songs may be sad, others joyful, but the Lord wants to hear our song, and our thanksgiving that we are never alone, we are always loved and when we go the wrong way and turn back God will be there for us, with arms wide open.
Today I give thanks to God for all that I have, all I have been through, all that will come, because as I sing my song, I know that God hears, and God loves even when I occasionally forget the words.