I was thinking this week (while in the midst of complaining about the frustrations of life), that being thankful is more of a state of mind than a celebration. I’m sure you will agree it’s truly a blessing to wake up each morning and not be in agony. When we swing our bodies over onto the side of the bed and stand on our feet, this is nothing less than a miracle! So often, we become so busy thinking about what we are going to do that we forget how God is providing our good health which enables us to enjoy our life. I realize it’s easy to take our blessings for granted and since being grateful is an attitude of appreciation, let us remember to tell Jesus how much we love Him for paying the ransom for our soul.
What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Someone might reply, “It means a delicious feast” and we can relate as who does not enjoy a great meal? Others may say, “Thanksgiving means a day off from work or school” and this is always something to look forward to. Nonetheless, holidays are not only to be a celebration of indulgence but a spiritual sensitivity that recognizes all that we have and who gave it to us. As the word Thanksgiving suggests, we talk about thanks but rarely hear about the giving. Last week we considered the beauty of worship and praise as the deeper meaning of gratitude to God. Giving thanks is also more than an expression of gratitude because we can say “thank you” to someone and not really mean it. Genuine appreciation is not just words, but more of a sincere awareness of a particular thing or person, and then demonstrating that gratitude with honesty and sincerity. This year between the turkey, dressing, and the pumpkin pie, may we give praise to the one who made it all possible. It’s more than just saying a prayer at the table, it’s living a life that is pleasing unto the Lord.
One of our good friends is battling a serious health issue and trust me, she is seeing life through a different perspective this Thanksgiving. She’s been taking morning walks lately and has shared with me about how quiet and peaceful the world is right before the sun rises. In these times, it’s the little things like hearing the birds sing and the colors of the leaves that are majestic and awe-inspiring. Have you considered lately how glorious it is to be able to take a deep breath? Breathing seems so natural but to many, it is a constant battle. The feeling of being underwater is not pleasant and yet many live in this situation every day. The heart is another involuntary function that God has designed to keep a constant rhythm without us having to think about it, but many people are not so fortunate. How often do we thank God for all of the medications and treatments He provides to maintain our health?
Franklin Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord. Across the uncertain ways of space and time, our hearts echo those words, for the days are with us again when, at the gathering of the harvest, we solemnly express our dependence upon Almighty God.” Occasionally I will take a short nap on my cozy leather sofa while our English bulldog wedges his way in between me and the back of the couch and lets out a sigh of enjoyment that sounds more like the grunt of a hog. What a blessing it is to have a place called home. I’m sure most of you feel the same way about your sanctuary of peace and security. I thank God that I can go to the refrigerator and find something to eat, then go out into the garage and get into a nice vehicle and travel wherever I need to go. We usually do not pay any attention to these “luxuries” but they are amazing blessings. May we remember there are many people that do not have a home, a vehicle, a couch, or any food at all. First Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to be “Thankful in everything, and in all circumstances.” Whether in lack or abundance we will look to God and thank Him for all He has given, and more importantly, we will worship and love Him just for who He is.
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