Psalm 136 begins and ends with a call to give thanks to God!
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love is eternal.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His love is eternal.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His love is eternal…
…26 Give thanks to the God of heaven! His love is eternal.
Sandwiched between these verses are many reasons that Israel had to thank God. His love for them is eternal, he made the heavens, he brought them out of slavery in Egypt and into their own land, he protected them and went before them and provided for them.
This Psalm is dripping with joy-filled thankfulness for who God is and what he’s done.
But, if I’m honest, this Psalm is not me. I struggle to be thankful. I know I shouldn’t; I have more reasons than an Old Testament Israelite to thank God! But day-to-day I often forget to be thankful. And when I sit down to pray the part I struggle with the most is thanking God for things.
About a year ago I stumbled upon the Grateful app. The aim of the app is to provide you with a place where you can share what you’re grateful for and keep a track of it. Basically, you plant what you’re grateful for as a seed in a garden and it grows into a flower (see attached file). You can then harvest the flowers whenever you like or continue to watch them sway soothingly in the garden.
At the end of each day, as I jump into bed, I think of three things I’m thankful for. Then I plant them as seeds in the garden and thank God for them. When I have planted 36 flowers I harvest them and start a new garden.
Now all this might sound a little forced or fluffy to you (it did to me originally to be honest). But I’ve noticed two things since making this app part of my daily routine. Firstly, I find it a LOT easier to think of things that I’m thankful for. Having to think of 3 things each day to be thankful for is helping me to see I have many more than 3 things to be thankful for. Secondly, I’m much more thankful throughout the day. I recognize things I can be thankful for as they come up during the day.
This is not a Christian app, the story behind it is a strange one about an old woman counting beans. But God is using it to create a habit in my life that is growing a thankful heart in me. And it’s free! So why not try it?