“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”
A field sits under the sun. The rows have been dug. The seed has been sown. Now it patiently waits. All that it is missing is rain. Day after day, it stares at the cloudless sky, and wonders, “When will it rain?” But it has confidence that it will rain. It never has doubted the rain. Every year rain comes. The field receives it, and the crops grow. But for now, the field waits.
After a long night’s sleep, the field awakens to an overcast morning. The fiery sun peeks past the golden edges of the heavy, swirling clouds. “Today is the day,” the field thinks to itself. As the hours wear on, the clouds move in, ominous and dark. The wind begins to blow, and the trees along the edges of the field bow with every fierce gust. And then the rain comes. The cool, refreshing, rinsing, life-giving rain pours over every square inch of the field. Some unsettled seeds bob in the pools of rain that have gathered in the low spots. The field finally received its rain.
What did the field do to get the rain? Nothing. Was the rain a blessing? Absolutely. So what does the field owe the sky? Everything. But what can the field repay to the sky? Nothing. So how does the field “repay” the sky? It uses every ounce of rain to its utmost. It produces crops that are healthy and strong. It exists always looking to the sky as its source of rain.
We are the field. God is the sky. He pours His blessings and grace on us. Our flourishing and our life come from Him. What do we owe Him? Everything. What can we pay Him? Nothing. You see, the benefit of grace is that it is ‘gratis’ – “free.” If it was payable it would be a business deal, not grace. We owe God everything, but can repay Him nothing. This is the true nature of our position under His grace. So what can we do? Exactly what the field does. We can use every ounce of His blessing to produce in our lives things that would bring praise and glory to Him. We can look longingly to His hand of Provision and trust that every good and perfect gift that we need comes from His hand. We can be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.
Food for Thought: Why should we be thankful to God? What do we owe God? What can we “pay” Him?