Day 3

The Posture of Thanksgiving

from the Give Thanks reading plan

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.

Post Comments (77)

77 thoughts on "The Posture of Thanksgiving"

  1. Carly Woodard says:

    @Rebecca Leek
    Hey Rebecca, you may never even read this but I thought I’d try to share some of my own personal experience
    I was raped by my older brother when I was a little girl… I was then raped again when I got older by a man in the military…
    I have spent this last year trying to figure out the “God why” question as these emotional things had started affecting my marriage and I realized that it was never Him… He didn’t cause those things to happen to me, sin did.. and then when I tried to see God in the mess I couldn’t, until I realized that through it all, IT IS WELL! And I really grew up to have a normal life and have fallen in love with a wonderful man of God… God protected my little mind when I was a young girl and didn’t allow me to be horrifically affected like I could’ve been, He allowed me to grow up and have a fairly normal life and even fall in love…
    He doesn’t create bad things, sin does… But by grace He can ultimately use them for His good and glory

  2. S J says:

    Lately I’ve been lifting up my hands in praise more often. I used to be worried about what others would think, and now I know it would do nothing but please my Lord!!

  3. Kristen Meredith says:

    This makes me just want to move in praise like a child for Him!

  4. Nicki Gerster says:

    Rebecca I so feel with you – and, much more important, God does.

    Maybe Bill Johnson’s beautifully sensitive answers in his book, „God is Good“ might help.

  5. Jayme Roberts says:

    Praying !!

  6. J V says:

    My son has a syndrome that prohibits him from walking and doing a lot. The picture of him kneeling down praising Jesus in heaven makes me..ugh just bawl. Jesus has been too good to me. Praise and all the glory to you Lord Jesus for your blessings and kindness that you have shown my family. May my offering to You be my heart and all my thanks, which feels like nothing.

  7. Terry says:

    Beautiful! I’m a small group leader for our ladies’ Bible study and I read this to them today, one of which has MS. It just filled our hearts with thankfulness to be reminded of the amazing faithfulness of our God and the home we have to look forward to in heaven.

  8. Melissa Godfrey says:

    Rebecca. Bless your sweet searching heart! I’ll tell you a little story of my struggle with that same topic. A few years ago I was pouring out my anger and frustration with God (He can withstand my anger, I might as well be honest with him about it!) because a little one year old in our church was battling nueroblastoma! How could this be happening to an innocent child?!?! As I cried and prayed, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. “THIS is why I hate sin!” I always thought God hated sin in the same way I hated disobedience in my children…because it made him angry. All of a sudden I understood…He hates sin because of how it ravaged his creation and his precious children. I DO NOT mean cancer came to this child because of her sin. I mean the brokenness of this world came in because of sin and it affects even the innocent! No wonder God hates sin and it’s horrible consequences to his darlings. And I knew in that moment that Jesus was weeping with me over the pain in this situation. He is not looking down going, “tsk, tsk…look what you brats have done.” He is weeping with us until the time comes that Warrior God returns and re-sets creation to the way it was supposed to be in the beginning. In the meantime, he is also patiently giving the time and opportunity for EVERYONE to recognize him and his work on our behalf. He IS loving, even when my eyes can’t see it and my mind can’t comprehend it. I hope this helps. Cry out to Him and He will reveal himself in His time!

    1. Jamie Butler says:

      Thank you for sharing this. My daughter had medulloblastoma, brain cancer, as a baby and has now had three more tumors recently. She’s been through so much in her short life, and I have struggled so much with watching her suffer. I know it’s because we live in a fallen world, but I want to suffer instead of her. It’s so hard. But this post encourages my heart. Thank you.

      1. Jayme Roberts says:

        Lifting you and your sweet girl up in prayer.

    2. Anna Hughes says:

      Love this Melissa! Thanks for sharing.

    3. Jayme Roberts says:

      So beautifully put. As a RN who works in oncology the pain and suffering I see is constant. Thank you for this post.

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