There are dimensions of thanksgiving however, that transcend the plain of human reciprocity and move into the realm of the divine. How do we thank someone for something for which it would be impossible to repay? Perhaps it is a parent or other significant person who have invested their lives in benefiting ours. How do we thank someone for the provision of a critically dependent need which we ourselves could never meet? Maybe it is an opportunity, finances, wise advice or simply the emotional support that lifts you from defeat to victory.
Thanksgiving in such circumstances expresses itself best through a humble and grateful acceptance. In many cases it is appropriate to declare our heartfelt thanksgiving through a public affirmation of honor or esteem for our benefactor.
This realm of thanksgiving is of course most fitting in giving praise to God for all He has provided for us. We can never repay Him for the extravagant grace showered upon us as His undeserving and dependent children. But yet He delights to hear the expressions of our thanksgiving and praise for every thing He has done for us. And so with the psalmist it is worth making a commitment to constantly “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” (Psalm 100:4 NIV)
But there is yet one other dimension of thanksgiving that transcends them all. It might be called the highest form of praise. And that is thanking someone, especially God, for something you trust them yet to do. Saying “thank you” in advance is an expression of faith. That “thank you,” no matter what the circumstances, releases faith. “Thank you” becomes “the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) It communicates appreciation more for the person and their trustworthiness, than for the thing given. The Giver becomes the treasure more than the gift. That is the ultimate “thank you” any of us can give.