In the United States of America, the entire nation celebrates Thanksgiving in November to pause for a moment and remember to be grateful for all that we have. Some celebrate by preparing food, or watching football, and by gathering with family. For many this will be an especially precious time since the COVID-19 pandemic prevented many families and friends from gathering last year. For others, COVID has taken family or friends, and we realize now more than ever how precious the gift of family and friends are. As great as all these Thanksgiving blessings are, however, Christians have a greater blessing in the opportunity to give thanks to God. Whether people in this world want to recognize it or not, everything they own is given to them by the Lord. Are you grateful?
In his book, “Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life,” Chuck Swindoll writes: "I recall, as a little barefoot boy with a cowlick of snow-white hair on my forehead, standing erect in my classroom and repeating the "Pledge of Allegiance" one Thanksgiving season. Our nation was at war and times were hard. My teacher had lost her husband on the blood washed shores of Normandy. As we later bowed our heads for prayer she wept aloud. I did too. All the class joined in. She stumbled through one of the most moving expressions of gratitude and praise that ever emerged from a soul plunged in pain. At that time in my young life, I fell strangely in love with Thanksgiving. Lost in sympathy and a boy’s pity for his teacher, I walked home very slowly that afternoon. Although only a child, I had profound feelings of gratitude for my country . . . my friends . . . my school . . . my church . . . and my family."
May we always have the same grateful attitude as expressed in Psalm 100 which says, Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
When we focus on God’s goodness and grace, rather than on all of our wants, losses, and frustrations, living with gratitude can become a strong unifier that keeps us together even though there are a thousand things that would try to divide us. Let us together be thankful for God’s goodness.
God is still good, and His love endures forever. Happy Thanksgiving!