“Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV).
We daren’t mistake this message. It’s as urgent as any other command. In all circumstances... be joyful... pray... thank (what?—thank?); yes, thank, always.
We might habitually give thanks in this life—though I’ve not seen many like this and I certainly can’t testify to align one hundred percent. But one thing we often do not think much about is thanking God when we actually meet him—at the end of our physical lives in Glory.
When we’re finally in that position, spiritually, having left this world for our ‘eternal visit’ in heaven we’ll stand before God and be judged—I wonder if we’ll also get the opportunity to actually thank him directly? For sure we’ll worship the living God. The Bible is resplendent with images regarding worship and the new heaven and new earth (for instance, Isaiah 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).
What will it be like meeting him in paradise?
Do we take a moment’s glimpse into that day? Can this image be foreseen and for a moment we imagine what it might be like to come into visual presence of the Almighty. In his throne room with angels singing and elders sitting; we can hardly grasp what it might be like. (Again, thankfully we have John’s vision to help us.)
Thanking as a pastime. We’re to thank habitually; this bolsters our prayer and joyfulness; it helps us recall and remember and stay spiritually-focused. It’s also what we can do as we hand-deliver our words and expression of thanks to the Creator of our very lives; all his provision, sustenance, grace, eternal patience and sufficiency. What was hard for us was ease for him, yet we—most of the time—don’t think in these ways.
What might the Almighty’s response be? Can you prepare him a submission of thanks? Even now. For none of knows when the “deadline” looms, materialises and then suddenly vanishes—in a moment we’re there!
Yet, even perhaps, our spirits may just speak for themselves in Holy Communion with the King of kings and Lord of lords.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.