"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." -Psalm 107:1
Since I began my inspirational writing I have taken a step back as each holiday passes to reflect on what I can learn from them. This Thanksgiving is no different. I began to look more into all that encompasses this holiday and now ask, why do you celebrate Thanksgiving? What does it mean to you?
We celebrate first and foremost because it’s a national holiday, right? This means it’s a day or two off of work or school, a time to overindulge in eating. An excuse to eat too much with no regrets. This is a time to spend with family, maybe have big parties. A time to spend money we have saved or don’t have at those black Friday sales. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all we have. For many, Thanksgiving is the kickoff to Christmas as we begin to decorate our homes with lights, the tree and other festive paraphernalia. For Christians this is a time to thank God for all we have.
Thanksgiving is defined as the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors, especially to God.
So, we invite the family, set the table, prepare the turkey and all the fixings, turn on the parade then the game and we’re all set. Oh, and of course, before we dig in we all say why we’re thankful, briefly say thank-you God and dig in. Then food is eaten, God got His acknowledgement and it’s a great day. Then just like that Thanksgiving is over and a new day will begin.
For many this is how the holiday will go and I have been there every year with everyone else. But as I reflect today, I realize I have not always given God the proper acknowledgement of thankfulness He deserves. Oh, I thank Him daily for my life, my family, the material things I have and that He is with me helping, guiding, and leading. But on a day we are to be most thankful, I have slipped. I have gotten caught up in the preparation, the family, and the fun. I read in researching Thanksgiving something very powerful. In the Bible, the meaning of thanksgiving reflected what? Adoration, sacrifice, praise or an offering, right? Thanksgiving begins with acknowledging God as faithful, earnestly giving Him thanks, in advance, for His abundant blessings.
It amazes me how out of 365 days a year, beginning in November that’s when people are the most verbal with thankfulness and how God has blessed them. Then as the fourth Thursday passes a peace of some sorts with the world settles in until December 25th. God is good 365 days a year, He has blessed us abundantly in big and small ways and no matter how we slip and fall or forget Him, He is faithful and good. Our lips should be full of praise year-round, not merely through November and December. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Colossians 4:2 “Continue praying, keeping alert, and always thanking God.”
Do you think the pilgrims cared who won the football game or how big the turkey was? No, they were thankful just to be alive after their first harsh winter. They were thankful for religious freedom to praise God in a new country. I’m sure they were thankful for the new Native American friendships. Yes, we have grown as a country since the pilgrims and there are many things, we have they didn’t and much more then even Biblical times, but shouldn’t that mean we should be even more thankful for how God has helped us grow as a country?
This year enjoy it all. The game, the food, the family. Over-eat on turkey and pies and have fun on your time off. This is a day to celebrate. My prayer is that among all the festivities, you take time to truly reflect on God and what He has done for you and your family this last year. As He has been faithful to you, be faithful to Him and give Him the praise He deserves not just a fancy passing before prayer over the food. In your homes and in your heart truly define Thanksgiving for you.
‘Heavenly Father, on Thanksgiving, we bow our hearts to You and pray. We give thanks for all You’ve done, especially for the gift of Jesus Your Son. For beauty in nature, Your glory we see, for joy and health, friends, and family. For daily provision, Your mercy and care, these are the blessing You graciously share. So today we offer this response of praise with a promise to follow You all of our days.’ -Mary Fairchild
“I personally want to thank all my faithful readers. Your continued support is a blessing and is what keeps me writing and sharing the love of God. I am grateful for all of you and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.”- D.S. Wells