Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thankful to the Bone

It was a first for me.  A lady broke out in dancing during a worship service.  It was January, 1986, and was in Jamaica on a mission trip.  I was sitting in the church worshiping with the people waiting for my time to get up and preach.  And suddenly, during the singing, a lady got up and started dancing.  Having been either a Presbyterian or a Baptist for my then 29 years of life, I can honestly say no one ever got up to dance during worship—not even once.  Well, I do remember a kid getting up and wiggling around during the song service in a Baptist church one time, but he wasn’t dancing; he had to go to the bathroom.  Nope, never seen dancing before in worship.

But this Jamaican lady cut loose.  It wasn’t really a frenetic jig, and she never jumped a pew.  It was more of a rhythmic movement, up and down the center aisle of the little church, twirling and swaying and raising her hands to God in praise and thanksgiving.  It almost had a ballet feel to it.  And there was nothing forced about it either.  You could tell it came from someplace deep inside her heart. “So what’s with the dance?” I whispered to the Jamaican pastor who was hosting us.  He kind of shrugged his shoulders, as if her dance was the most normal thing in the world, and said, “She just does it when she’s thankful.”

“Hmmm,” I thought to myself.  “That’s no skin-deep thanksgiving.  She must be thankful to the bone.”  And I couldn’t help but think of another thanksgiving dance I’d read about in the Bible—the day David brought the Ark of the Covenant home to Jerusalem.  The King practically danced out of his clothes.  Fred Astaire and Michael Jackson had nothing on him.



When David's wife told him how his spastic little dance embarrassed her to no end, David said, "Yes, and I am willing to look even more foolish than this.  I wasn't dancing for you anyway.  I was dancing for the Lord."  And David was so thankful to God that he treated everyone to a picnic so they could join the celebration too.  Like the Jamaican woman, David's thanksgiving was no skin-deep thanksgiving.  It was heart deep.  He was thankful to the bone.

Think through your blessings this Thanksgiving, and give thanks to God from the depths rather than from the surface.  Sing!  Shout!  Even do a little jig if you feel like it.  And could I encourage you not to worry about how crazy you look or how foolish you sound as you express your thanksgiving to God?  Some of the people who know you well may think you've lost your mind.  But God who knows you best and loves you most will be grinning from ear to ear.  He always does when we're thankful to the bone.

Happy Thanksgiving!

6 comments:

  1. John: So thankful that you published another blog. Have been missing them. Well, this one is very much needed, especially as we encounter so much going on around our world, in our churches and in our homes. You have reminded me afresh that "God inhabits the praise of His people," and we do not see that very often in our churches or in our homes. Probably why we don't see a real move of God in our churches because we have been in disobedience to the Holy Spirit and what man might say if we began to act out of the ordinary. You reminded me in this blog that God said in Psalms 107:2 "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!" He inhabits the praise of His people...... Anyway, I appreciate your reminding us of that. I want to wish you and family a very Happy Thanksgiving this week and ask God to fill you full of His praise in the days ahead "clean to the bone" and your people will surprise you with thanksgiving because they love their God and they also love you.... Your friend, Charles Mays Phil. 1:3

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    1. Thank you, Charles. You're a great encouragement. I'm thankful for your friendship.

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    2. Thank you, Charles. You're a great encouragement. I'm thankful for your friendship.

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Dana and the rest of your family as well! Although, I'm quite interested in where you got that painting of David in his skivvies! :D

    Have a good one,
    Mike

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    1. Thanks, Mike. I got it on google images.

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    2. Thanks, Mike. I got it on google images.

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