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 (82)

82 thoughts on "The Posture of Thanksgiving"

  1. Amanda Hesterberg says:

    Love the idea that our bodies take on a posture of thanksgiving naturally. Let us lean into that posture and give thanks to the Lord!

  2. Stephanie Isbell says:

    There is so much to be grateful for and it seems highlighted by the darkness of this pandemic-survival life we’ve crafted. I’m not a very charismatic worshiper usually but I am becoming so mindful of my body’s posture and making it match the attitude of my heart. We don’t have time to be disingenuous these days.

  3. Dottie Smith says:

    I am reading this during a time of unprecedented events. The Corona virus has spread like wildfire causing schools to close, businesses shut their doors, jobs lost, food shortages and worse of all people’s lives lost. It is so easy to see the worry, fear and stress EVERY WHERE! I needed to focus on thankfulness during this season because this is what will overcome these thoughts and emotions….thankful that God has promised to never leave us, that He is all powerful and Sovereign, He is our Protector and Healer, He does not bring pain without purpose! I am very choo choosing to be thankful for a roof over my head, grand babies I can squeeze, a husband who follows hard after God, looking out my back door and seeing birds, fox, squirrels…God’s handiwork on display! Thank you God for another day to praise you and when this is over, remind me to look back and see your faithfulness through it all!

  4. Molly Gilbane says:

    Thank you for the reminder that showing gratitude doesn’t have be structured— so neat and tidy. Simply falling to our knees and raising our hands in the air, overcome with Thanksgiving is enough. Lord, I am so very grateful for the life You have given me. Thank you for remaining steadfast and true through it all. I humbly lay the preschool applications and gender of our next child at Your feet. I ask that you take these burdens— these anxieties— and fill me with an overwhelming sense of peace. Your plan is perfect. I trust in You.

  5. Lyndsey Piland says:

    This is such a good post. The description through words has been so powerful to me this morning. Thank you Erin.

  6. Bailey Braden says:

    Remembering to be patient and grateful as I wait for the LORD.

  7. Amy Morris says:

    For the Rebecca thread – when I was in my twenties I questioned everything about my faith that was a part of my life since the day I was born- my eyes being opened I thought by university. In my thirties when I had my own children my eyes were truly opened to the wonders of God. Through retreats and bible studies I saw Gods beauty in the world and understood the evil in this world is not Gods will – evil is mans creation. It’s people putting their own desires first – on the issue of child abuse the adult or perpetrator has chosen to sin and we see the pain and hurt sin causes but we see the healing power of God too. Jesus tells us our path as his followers will not be an easy one. This past year with the death of my Daddy, I again struggle at times with my faith and that is when I realize doubt is the devil trying to pull me away. It’s easy to come up with excuses for not gong to church until you just stop going and then you feel as if returning makes you a hypocrite. It’s hard to swallow your pride and ask for forgiveness. Giving God thanks is putting him first and that’s hard in a world that celebrates the individual. The best combatant for me is prayer, daily bible study and attending church regularly. I am grateful to God for the SRT site and app because it helps me get back on the path of keeping a daily relationship with God to help me battle each day .

  8. Emily Mandrell says:

    Are you manually hitting the bottom at the bottom of the scripture page “mark as read”? I didn’t notice this feature for quite some time because it used to mark it automatically.

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