Martha's Poem

  • Nov. 23, 2015
  • #8756

Bless the lord by thanking Him for his mercy and grace, and praise Him for the joys and pleasures He provides.

Martha's Poem

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to Thanksgiving week!

And I think we would all agree that Psalm 100, verse 4 makes a great Bible verse for Thanksgiving where the psalmist says, "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his Holy name." And I love that last part about blessing the name of the Lord, the Bible is filled with commands to “bless the Lord, oh my soul” and it’s great when we take time to actually do that. I think of all the character traits that touch the heart of God, gratitude and thanksgiving rank right up there. To bless the Lord is to say, “God, your love is never failing; your mercies are new every morning; your provision is so abundant, and your salvation is the sweetest gift of all. I am happy in you. I am satisfied in you. I glory in you, and I bless your holy name. I don’t want to smear that good name of yours, or do something that will bring it shame, I want to revere and honor who you are in my life.” That’s a good example of blessing the Lord with all your soul and strength.

And I’ve gotten into the habit of doing this lately. I think it’s because the older I get, the more satisfied I am in Christ. I mean, just last evening, I was lying down in bed and feeling the bite of pain in my hip. But earlier, as I was lying down, I had put on some classical music. And I don’t know how to describe this, but when Ken came into the bedroom to check on me, I looked up at him with wet eyes and said, “God is making me so happy. I am so happy.” And I was. Lying there paralyzed and in pain, I had the joy of the Lord – and my soul could not help but be grateful, be thankful and bless my Savior.

I'll confess, though, there are times when I am so quick to express my displeasure or unhappiness, or my need of healing and help. Living with quadriplegia, I am quick to tell God about my aching joints after sitting up in my wheelchair all day. But I want to make it more of a practice to always lift up to God a thankful heart for the many joys and pleasures He gives. And Martha Snell Nicolson wrote a beautiful poem that touches on this very subject. It is so lovely; it is called “Thanksgiving,” and here’s how it goes:

“We give Thee our griefs, O Father, We cast our burdens on Thee, The woes of all Thy children, Are before Thee constantly. We bring Thee our sins and follies, We pour our tears at Thy feet. But help us, O Lord, to remember, That Thy heart might find it sweet, If we brought Thee our joys and pleasures, As well as our sorrow and tears, Would not the sound of our laughter, Make music in Thine ears? To the earthly giver we tender, The smile and the grateful word; How then can we be forgetting, To thank our bountiful Lord?”

Oh, friend, please this week, take time to bring to God the pleasures and joys for which you are thankful. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and sing a praise song for His listening pleasure. It’s a great way to start off Thanksgiving week. Oh, and I'm posting all this week this heartwarming poem by Martha Snell Nicolson, so please come by my radio page at joniandfriends.org and download it. Print it out and share copies of it around your Thanksgiving dinner table. It’s one way your soul can bless the Lord. Again, come by and see us on my radio page at joniandfriends.org. Have a great Thanksgiving week and I’ll see you next time on “Joni and Friends”. I invite you to visit joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

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