When we sin, we ask God for forgiveness, and He grants it. Without this process, we would be hopeless. Thanks to His unfailing grace, we can depend on his acceptance of our repentance, assuming of course that our request for forgiveness was indeed sincere.
But when we say, "Thank you, Lord," afterward, do we realize what we mean?
Let's look at it this way. Imagine there is this American being held captive in some foreign land. (We all can probably think of one who really is being held captive somewhere, sadly). But just assume there is only one man, and he is being held in a box surrounded by a few thousand soldiers from the foreign country. Now, the President of the United States orders all the active duty soldiers in the U.S. Army to storm the site of the prisoner, army against army to free that one man. Many American soldiers die in this raid, and many others are left injured in some way. But the army is successful in rescuing the one man.
He remains silent on the flight back to the states, and when he gets off the plane at the U.S. airport, he turns around to the soldiers with him, and yells, "Thanks!" He then picks up his bag and walks away.
What do you think the soldiers coming off the plane will think of his response? How will the media interpret this response? He said 'thank you,' but did he really mean it? And even if he did, was he completely unaware of the sacrifice that thousands of American soldiers paid to free him?
This is a crazy scenario, I know. But think about it. What did Jesus go through to save each of us? The life that He laid down was given as if He was giving it for each one of us, and it just works out that it was sufficient for all of us. So I can say that Jesus, the God of the universe, the greatest King who ever lived, the only thing in existence that really truly matters or has worth, came down from his glorious abode to a world He created that rejected Him so He could suffer and die on two sticks in order to remove the chains of my sin, and then rise victoriously so that I could be able to leave this world that is itself better than I deserve and live in the aforementioned glorious abode that only God and His holy angels are really worthy to spend any time in. And all I can say is, "Thanks"?
Every time we sin, we become unworthy of this gift again. But every time we sincerely repent, we are gladly reminded that His mercy has covered us and His grace will never leave. The scope of this give is beyond understanding. And God understands perfectly well that we can never repay what He has given for us, even a small chunk of it.
But Lord, let me learn what it means to adequately thank You for saving me. Let me live with a thankful heart for all the blessings I've been given, but most importantly for the life You freely laid down because You loved me. Let the grandness of Your gift never be overlooked in my heart. Without it, I would be nothing.