The Posture of Thanksgiving
Open Your Bible
2 Chronicles 6:13-14, Psalm 100:1-5, Lamentations 3:22-23 , 1 Timothy 4:4-5, Philippians 2:1-11
BY Guest Writer
Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 6:13-14, Psalm 100:1-5, Lamentations 3:22-23 , 1 Timothy 4:4-5, Philippians 2:1-11
Every morning, when my newborn baby wakes, his arms spring upward. His grandma says he’s growing, but what if, instead, he’s just really grateful?
I’ve been paying attention, and our bodies, it seems, give thanks automatically.
Little girls twirl and giggle with the delight of being alive without ever watching a YouTube tutorial.
When we’ve been spared a calamity or rescued from peril, our lungs naturally heave deep sighs that sound a whole lot like “Yahweh,” one of the powerful names of our rescuing God. As we age, our shoulders tend to stoop. Sure, there’s a medical reason for the change, but is it possible that age brings humble gratitude? Might we naturally bend lower as the years reveal the faithfulness of God?
We tend to think of gratitude like a greeting card, a warm sentiment sent to someone special. Or maybe it’s a journal entry, a place where we are “intentional” to write down our expressions of thanks.
But what if gratitude doesn’t require pen and paper or a stamp?
Here in 2 Chronicles chapter 6, Solomon’s body seems electrified with thanks. First, he stands and spreads out his hands, gratefully receiving the gifts of God’s favor (v.12). Next, he kneels, lifting his hands toward heaven. We might expect Solomon to parade or puff up at this important occasion. Instead, he lowers his body into a posture of humility (v.13). Gratitude will do that; it knocks us out, and lays us flat.
Mary must have knelt before Jesus as she poured perfume on His feet and wiped them with her hair (John 12:3). Since Jesus had just raised her brother from the dead, surely Mary knew the kind of gratitude that leaves us awestruck and weak at the knees.
Eventually, we’ll all kneel before Him (Philippians 2:10). I’ve always assumed it was shame or sheer power that would bend our knees, but maybe not. As the beloved, adopted daughters of God, recipients of His undeserved grace, I imagine we will kneel with delight, bowled over with gratitude for the things He has done for us. Quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada said it this way:
“On the day I receive my new body in heaven, I’m sure Jesus will be delighted to watch me stretch glorified muscles and dance on tiptoe. But there’s something I plan to do that may please Him more. I will kneel. To choose not to move in heaven will be my demonstration to Him of heartfelt thanks for the grace He gave all those many years when my legs and hands were paralyzed. It will be my sacrifice of praise.”
We don’t have to wait for the trumpet blast or the moment we are called heavenward to express our gratitude. Like my little fella greets the morning from his bassinet, let’s reach forward in praise right now, refusing to keep our thanksgiving neat and tidy, confined to a postcard or a lined journal page.
May our hearts learn to bend in gratitude to our God, for there is “no God like [Him] in heaven or on earth, who keeps his gracious covenant with [His] servants who walk before [Him] with all their heart (2 Chronicles 6:14). May we shout it from the rooftops and dance it out in the streets. May we bend our knees in humble thanksgiving, and laugh with utter delight in Him, knowing He delights in us (149:3–4).
Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.