Giving Thanks, My Favorite Holiday
This week Americans in the US and in foreign parts will celebrate Thanksgiving. Typically, we eat turkey and pumpkin because that is what we understand the pilgrims did when they celebrated a great harvest. Children in school learn about pilgrims and indians; people decorate their homes in fall colors; jokes abound about turkeys; stores discount cranberries and turkeys; people are dreaming of food, football and a day off work.
Yet that is not why I like Thanksgiving.
Years ago a friend said that he would try to thank God for the answer to a prayer he prayed as many times as he asked for God’s provision. Now that made me think. How many times do I pray for protection on the roads, for example. Or how many times do I pray for my family? When God does protect do I ever thank him for that? Do I thank him for providing?
God made us like himself. That means that if I like to be thanked for something I did, then he does too. So if we ask him for favors, shouldn’t we then thank him for granting us those favors?
God likes feasts. He ordered his people to feast and remember him, setting aside special days. I like Thanksgiving because the whole celebration is especially to thank God for his provision. The whole focus of the holiday is a time set aside to thank God.
Let us make a list of all the things that we are thankful for. And not just this week, but everyday, let’s think about how God provided material things we use everyday, as well as spiritual blessings. When we are tempted to complain, think instead of how great we have it, and thank God, because all good things come from his hand.
Here is a handful of things that I’m thanking God for:
- Life because of Jesus Christ
- Free access to God in prayer
- Favor from God that I don’t deserve
- My family (here I could go on and on)
- People who make it possible to carry on
- A great job, and all that entails
- A roof over my head
- Plenty to eat
- My stuff
- Water (never take it for granted!)
- And, of course, my dog (she makes me laugh)
Each one of these items brings a lot of specific things to mind. But that is for God to hear about, because he is the one that I’m thanking.