but most of all

I usually journal my prayers. I explained that to Hadley after she observed me one morning, writing in my notebook. Then, awhile ago, I found a piece of paper of hers, with large block letters and 5-year-old spelling:

Dear God,
Thank you for my garden and my mom and my dad but most of all, thank you for Jesus.

Amen.

My mom heart melted. Of course I cannot know her heart, and I can credit my husband with modeling that prayer. But it was sweet nonetheless.

And today, on this day of giving thanks, I thought of that sweet, simple, childish prayer.

Sometimes, it’s easy to count our blessings. To be thankful for all the tangible gifts God has given us. For example, at the moment I’m particularly thankful to be sitting in my house that is not burnt to the ground after I left the dryer running all. day. long.

I am deeply thankful for my husband, for our children, for my extended family, both on my side and his. I am thankful for food on the table and money to pay our bills. I thankful for heat, especially as the temperature creeps lower and lower. That is just a meager sampling of the many blessings for which I am thankful.

But I don’t think it’s enough to just give thanks for those tangible blessings.

I could write about giving thanks in all circumstances–in the pain and disappointments, in the hard and hurting and trials, alongside all of the good. But, while it’s not unrelated, it’s also not my point. My point is the “most of all.”

Most of all, thank you for Jesus.

Because the reality is, we were dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph. 2). We were foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, hated by others and hating one another (Titus 3).

But God.

But God, because of the great love with which he loved us, made us alive together with Christ! (Eph. 2)

But God, because of his goodness and lovingkindness, saved us, not because of our works, but because of His mercy! (Titus 3)

We deserve death for our sins but instead we get Jesus. There is no greater reason to be grateful.

And (since I said it was related) it is this truth which grounds us and allows us to give thanks in all circumstances–whether we are brought low or abounding, facing plenty or hunger, abundance or need. (Phil. 4)

We give thanks because we have Jesus.

And if I have Jesus, I have all I need.

Happy Thanksgiving.