“Thanksgiving” is God’s never-secret, free-for-all-to-use password

Passwords are the bane of my online existence. I create them and promptly forget. I jot them down, then lose the paper. It’s enough to make me scream. So imagine my dismay upon learning that a problem with passwords — or one password in particular — can also mess with my spiritual life.

That’s the message in this month’s Postcard and a Prayer, the electronic newsletter of Mennonite Women USA, where columnist Lorraine Eby writes about her discovery that God has a password.

That word is “thanksgiving. ” And praise be to God, there’s nothing secret about it.

Unlike the passwords we create to keep people out of our business, God’s password is available for all to know and use. It’s splashed across the whole of scripture. Yet we struggle to remember it.  We waste time looking in all the wrong places for the word that’s right there in front of us.


That’s because, as Eby notes,

a genuine thankful heart does not come easy.  It’s a rare day when we feel totally content.  Usually we are hoping or wishing for something we think would make our lives happier.  We’re like spoiled children, always asking and seldom saying, ‘I love you.'”

A spirit of gratitude is not the same as saying ‘thank you’ at the right time and often, such as saying grace at mealtime or making a list of things we are thankful for at Thanksgiving.  It is not about counting our blessings instead of sheep.  It is a kind of joy, deep within our spirit, an acceptance of life even when we would wish our reality or past happenings to be different.  To experience this deep joy takes a deliberate effort on our part of reflecting on our humanness and God’s holiness.

The prayer of Julian of Norwich helps me understand what a spirit of gratitude is about: “God, of your goodness give me yourself, for you are enough for me.  I can ask for nothing less that is completely to your honor, and if I do ask for anything less, I shall always be in want.  Only in you I have all.”

I am so grateful to know that God’s password never needs to be updated. And I need not fear that I may forget where I wrote it down. It remains the same, with thanksgiving.

Amen and amen.


  1. Very grateful for this word, and for meeting you, Rebekah, at the Murdock Trust Board Development training. You were superior. May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I look forward to learning more from you in the future.

    • Hello Chris,
      Thanks for checking in with Generous Matters and thank you also for your kind comment about my contribution to the Murdock Trust Board Development training. I look forward to hearing about your board’s good work over the next few months.

  2. Penny Sundblad says:

    Hadn’t thought of thanksgiving quite this way before. Thank you for this thought provoking article. Being deeply content is a lot different than just saying thanks.

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