I give you thanks, O Lord, with my WHOLE heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name
for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.
One time when I was younger, my mother gave me money and asked me to go into our local grocery store to grab some laundry detergent, which I did. The problem was that instead of giving her all of the change back, I fibbed saying it was on sale so I could keep a few dollars to myself.
Pulling out of the parking lot, I began to dream about the candy, baseball cards, or tiny toy I could get with my secret stash of moola. But, then something started to eat away at me through the night. The money was burning a hole in my pocket and not just because a part of me was eager to spend it. The longer those few bills remained in my jeans, the more guilt I felt.
Eventually, I fessed up and handed over what was rightfully my mother’s. Fortunately for me, she extended me a great deal of grace and chalked up this experience as a teachable moment. Today's passage speaks of a different kind of offering, of giving someone what was theirs in the first place.
King David, the author of Psalm 138, speaks of giving thanks to God with his WHOLE heart. Not selective parts of his heart. Not just what is convenient and cleaned up. Not merely those places that are safe and requires little to no vulnerability.
In the act of worship, David offers the entire thing. The good, the bad, and the ugly parts of his heart, he extended to God. David recognized that his heart belongs to His Creator, so it was safe in His hands. God's unfailing love could be trusted. An act of vulnerability and transparency enabled David to experience this truth, along with God's faithfulness.
There are moments when discontentment reigns and I feel disconnected from the people and world around me. Anxiety rises while anger bubbles to the surface. Fear creeps in. During these times, I wonder why I feel this way and what's the root cause for me spinning my wheels spiritually. And time and time again, I come to the same conclusion: parts of my heart remain in my pocket, tucked away from the One who knows me best. Selective devotion always produces a half-hearted transformation.
When we hold back, we miss out. By hesitating and allowing parts of our heart to remain off-limits, we rob ourselves of experiencing God's grace and love as well as the opportunity for God to display it. Christ didn't die for some of our heart; He offered His life for the whole thing. Today, consider emptying your pockets.
Where do you find it challenging to offer your whole heart to God in thanksgiving? Why do you guard this part of your heart?
What would it look like to make it available to God and His grace?
God, I know You are a God of unconditional love and incredible grace. Far too often, I hold back in coming to You with everything. This shouldn't be. I want to be vulnerable enough to offer everything I am and everything I do to You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.