17 Some of the redeemed were fools because of their sinful ways.
They suffered because of their wickedness.
18 They had absolutely no appetite for food;
they had arrived at death’s gates.
19 So they cried out to the Lord in their distress,
and God saved them from their desperate circumstances.
20 God gave the order and healed them;
he rescued them from their pit.
21 Let them thank the Lord for his faithful love
and his wondrous works for all people.
22 Let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices
and declare what God has done in songs of joy!
There is an increasing divide when it comes to accepting gratitude. Many notable sources have researched this growing trend away from saying “you’re welcome” and choosing responses like, “anytime!”, “no problem!” or “of course!” Though some who are more familiar with a “thank you” “you’re welcome” rhetoric may find the new responses to be rude, many argue that it is actually a movement in the opposite direction: it’s an attempt to be more considerate.
The new phrasing comes from concern of how “you’re welcome” can unintentionally sound as if the person is expecting gratitude for whatever it is they’re receiving thanks for. Saying “Sure thing!” or “my pleasure!” is an attempt to take a more humble approach as if to say, “Oh, there’s no need to even offer me thanks.” It’s a step away from expecting praise for what we’ve done.
This brings me to today’s text. At first glance this text is about how people were being sinful (as people are), they cried for God and God was more than happy to intervene. What stands out to me though is that after this, God “let’s them” give thanks. We know that God continues to help us despite the lack of thanksgiving we offer. We know that God’s gifts to us can never receive the full gratitude they deserve; but God let’s us get our thanks out in the open, let’s us give it our best go at showing appreciation and thinking beyond ourselves. Giving gratitude really is good for the self. But God will be God with or without it (Thank goodness!) so though God let’s us give thanks, I’m thinking that God might respond with “anytime”.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
How do you feel when someone offers you gratitude? Does it ever make you feel awkward? What are three things you’re grateful for this morning?
Prayer: God of Thanksgiving, we thank you for letting us offer even our limited gratitude for all that you bless us with. We know it’s never enough and yet that never stops you from pouring on more blessings. Thank you and thank you. Amen.