“Better Out Than In” This is a line from the movie Shrek. After a rather obvious letting out a little “fluffy”, he covers the noise with comment to his friends, “better out than in, I always say.” With this rather crude opening, there is something in the Christian life that isn’t as gross but possesses the same truth. It is not only gas that needs to get out but our gratitude to a gracious God.
Paul says “give thanks in all circumstances”(1 Thessalonians 5:18). In another place Paul says, “in everything with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” It is what naturally comes out from us humans who know what kind of God we have and rely upon God for everything, in all circumstances, and look for God in all things. “Better out than in” is the way we Christians pray and believe in Christ and live – with thanksgiving.
My earthly father is facing perhaps the end of his physical life on earth. He has been battling cancer for years now, and at 92 he has lived a wonderful, full, faithful life. Our family made an “80 Reasons Why We Love Grandpa Larson” at his 80th birthday. It was a fun, enthusiastic, bubbling-up-with-thanks kind of exercise, giving thanks to God for Grandpa, Dad. It is this good God and the goodness of this God that we trust is with dad now and draws near to him as always in all circumstances.
Emanating from the bowels of our very existence, from our heart and core, come the words of thanks and faith in this supremely almighty God who gives us all good in life, daily food and drink, homes, family, good government, peace, loyal friends, lovely neighbors, good weather and on and on. When we realize that God is God, and we depend on God for everything we have, our thanksgiving is what comes out.
Remember the fad Christmas toy of talking Elmo that so many had to have. You would squeeze him and out would come a laugh. As Christians, in all circumstances, when we get squeezed and the law impinges on us in some concrete way, what comes out is an expression of why we love God as God for us in Jesus. It is not so much a giggle, but confession of thanks and wonder. Better out than in, we always say!
Happy Thanksgiving in Christ!