It’s Thanksgiving! So what is it that you’re thankful for, and to Whom? Granted, today isn’t the only day we are to be grateful for the innumerable blessings we have been freely given by our gracious Heavenly Father, but it IS a day set aside to specifically think on all of it!
“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 9:1)
We are to be grateful people. Not just those who seem to have it made–each and every single member of humanity! I suspect one of the most poignant and deleterious effects of sin is that it invariably clouds our understanding of our situation as it really is. It is almost as if we’re under the influence of something that has us thinking we’re dancing in a field of flowers when we’re actually skirting the outer edge of a balcony. And it isn’t just that we don’t recognize how precarious rejecting the forgiveness God gives through Jesus is–because if that’s what we’re doing, we really are teetering on the outer edge of the very deep and terrible abyss of eternal judgment for our sins! TODAY is the day to settle that issue.
No, it is also that we do not typically see every single incredible blessing God graciously showers us with. Jesus said of the Father: “…He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45 NIV) He blesses even those who oppose His hand on their life–those who are still His enemies. And if He allows good into the life of those who reject Him, how much more into the life of His beloved ones!
But maybe you’re going through a difficult time right now. Maybe your child is really sick or your spouse is being unfaithful or the bank is repossessing your house. Maybe your kids aren’t responding to situations like you hoped they would. Maybe you’re out of work and starting to get scared. Maybe a loved one died, and it’s been really hard for you.
Thankfulness isn’t how we respond once we feel we’ve gotten enough of whatever it is we think we want–it is a recognition of the multitude of blessings EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US has already received from God’s hand. Think about it–some people are never thankful, regardless of how much they have, while others with comparably little and far heavier burdens than ours, live lives of humble gratitude.
So what do you have to be grateful for? I can think of a couple of things we all have:
I have Jesus, the most priceless of treasures! (“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Matthew 13:44 NIV) He is worth more than anything else I could ever have!!
I have fellowship with Him–I can come to Him in prayer any time I please, and receive His help, love and support to help get me through whatever it is I need to get through at the moment. (“Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.” Hebrews 4:16 NCV)
I have forgiveness of my sins and acceptance into the Father’s eternal kingdom through Him. (“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us…” Ephesians 1:7-8 NIV)
I have eternal life already in me through the power of His Spirit. (“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3 NIV)
All else pales in comparison to that–do we even need to go on?!
I have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, a good bed to sleep on, food to eat, a warm house to stay in. I have functional arms and legs. I can see, hear, smell, taste and feel.
This is the stuff we take for granted, but we shouldn’t, because some people don’t have even this. Try getting rid of some of these, and see how things go!
Do you have more than this? Many do!! But even if you don’t, do you see how much God has already given you??? How much you actually have to be grateful for?? So, let’s be grateful–not just today, but each and every day of the rest of our lives!
Dear Lord God,
Help me “…give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart…[help me] tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Amen.