The surgeon walked toward my family and me in the hospital waiting room. The briskness of his walk showed he was a busy man, and as he approached his eyes revealed the fact that he had been performing tedious work for the last five hours. We listened as he explained the surgery, but we comprehended only about twenty percent of the conversation.
Then he said the words we longed to hear, “The surgery was successful.”
In that moment I felt so grateful and indebted to this man whom I had only met for the first time a few short days ago. Because he had fixed my dad’s heart and had given me the priceless gift of more time with him.
I thought about the countless hours the surgeon had spent studying in medical school and the years he spent perfecting his craft to save lives. I wanted to give him a hug, but I refrained as I knew it would not be appreciated or appropriate. There was really no way for me to repay him in that moment, so I uttered a wimpy thank you as he walked away to prepare to do it all again for another patient and family.
This feeling of indebted gratitude made me reflect on how I will feel when I one day stand before Jesus in heaven. Revelation 7:9-10, 12 tells us how a group of people will respond when they are before Jesus. Reflect on their words of thanksgiving:
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” …saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Like my dad’s heart that was repaired by the surgeon, through Jesus we are given the gift of a restored heart—a priceless gift which we are unable to repay. Through Him our hearts have been fixed to allow us to come before God as well as to receive the gift of eternal life.
The work of the surgeon came with many years of personal sacrifice to prepare for helping others; likewise, the work of Christ also required Him to sacrifice. He left Heaven, a place of perfection where he was considered royalty, and lived with mankind as a child in the family of a carpenter. His purpose was to reveal God’s plan to human beings and then to sacrificially fulfill it through giving up His own life.
There is no greater gift to give.
Thanksgiving is traditionally a time when we gather with those we love and reflect on things that we are thankful for. Most of the time our minds instantly think on the temporal things we have been given. We think about the blessings of family and the material possessions we have been given and acknowledge that they are from God. While this is a good practice, let’s not forget the most important reason to give Him thanksgiving.
When we still our busy minds and think about what He has done on our behalf, it should drive us to a feeling of indebted thanksgiving. The feeling will lead us to follow the example of the multitude in Heaven and thank Him with a loud voice for our salvation.
in the Quiver