It’s Turkey time again. As I try to do every Thanksgiving, I am contemplating the undeserved goodness of God toward me. If that doesn’t inspire thankfulness, nothing ever could! God’s blessings were certainly enough to inspire the first “Thanksgiving-ers.” Almost 400 years ago, in 1621, William Bradford and the pilgrim colony realized the blessing of their first fruitful season in a new land after enduring a severe and deadly winter. That was during a time when you didn’t wake up and have everything you wanted at your fingertips. You had to daily place your every need in the sovereign hands of God. When God met your needs, you were sincerely grateful that God supplied what was required to survive another day. After watching God supernaturally provide in a new land, the first pilgrims indeed deemed it appropriate to celebrate the faithfulness and provision of God!
Fast forward a couple of hundred years to 1863. Amidst suffering and civil war, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to be a national holiday. He implored all Americans to “Ask God to commend His tender care to all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife… to heal the wounds of the nation.” As I look at the state of our nation today, I believe a return to the heart of those early Thanksgivings is in order. Very few people in our society recognize their Creator as the source of every blessing. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving today has one major obstacle in its path; HUMAN NATURE. People are naturally inclined to selfishness, which is the opposite of thankfulness. On top of that, Paul told us that in the last days, an unthankful attitude would mark the general population (2 Timothy 3:2).
When left to ourselves, we all tend to gravitate towards entitlement; toward spending on ourselves instead of expending ourselves for the sake of others. Instead of giving thanks, many people are far more interested in getting stuff. This sinful proclivity is why Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, urged us, saying, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” As Christians, we should be asking, “How do we carry the heart of Thanksgiving into our everyday living?” I believe genuine Thanksgiving comes from a humble heart that sees the large gap of grace between what it deserves and what God has given. During this Thanksgiving season, I encourage you to take the time to pray, reflect, worship, and thank God for the many, many undeserved blessings in your life. Ask the Lord how you can carry that same thankful attitude into everything you do from day-to-day. As a result, you will undoubtedly find greater joy, contentment, and purpose in your life! I’ll leave you this Thanksgiving with words of the Psalmist from Psalm 107, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever.”
From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!