Thanksgiving Day . . . sit back and think of how much planning went into it; how many menu’s were thought up and then changed, how much time was spent looking up cool place mat ideas, figuring out where everyone was going to sit and O, did we have enough matching dishes to use for fancy settings? Think of all the shopping that was done; how many separate trips were made to grab last-minute needed items, how many super-duper whopper trips to try to get everything bought at one time, and maybe even separate trips to the dollar store or Wal-Mart for cards, accessories etc. And then think of all the food preparation that took place; I know a turkey was cleaned, stuffed and cooked, there had to be a couple of pies around the place, and don’t forget the rolls, or mac & cheese, or cranberry sauce, or gravy, and all the planning that took place to have all of the food HOT and READY at the SAME time! (Much harder than it sounds!)
If I had the chance to say one word about this traditional and yummy holiday, I would ask you this; For what do we spend our time planning, shopping and cooking? To have a huge dinner and then go to bed with our stomaches full, “thankful” for the food we ate a couple of hours before? Or to gather around the table and each take a turn mentioning one thing for which we are thankful, and then forget about the “attitude of gratitude” until next year comes around?
Thanksgiving should not simply be a day for us to gather in one place and eat a huge meal together; rather, it should be an opportunity to celebrate the goodness of God together. The spirit of thanksgiving should not simply flow out of us once a year on the appointed day, rather, thanksgiving should be an attitude that is present in us at all times. It should flow out of a heart truly convinced of its need for Salvation and for a Saviour. If we are not thankful, then we must not understand how much God gave up when He sent His ONLY Son to die a horrible death in order that we, sinful and God-hating as we are, might live with Him forever. We must not understand how many new mercies we are given each and every morning. We must not appreciate God’s absolute holiness, yet His love in reaching out to redeem us. If we are not truly thankful all the time, we must not understand who God is and what He is about!
One of my favorite quotes comes from Robert Louis Stevenson:
“Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.”
How true this is! If we truly understand God and His sacrifice, Thanksgiving day will merely be an opportunity to gather together and share our thanksgiving with one another. The Bible tells to “give thanks always”. ALWAYS. All the time, no matter what comes or goes, no matter what happens or doesn’t happen. There is no exception with the word always. It means always. We don’t have to worry about tomorrow because we know who holds the future. And we don’t have to worry about what happened yesterday, because He holds it in His hand. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, everything falls into place. It may not work out according to our desires, but can’t we trust the One who gave Himself up for us? And if we fix our eyes on Jesus, we will be super-duper WHOLLY filled with a desire to praise Him for the rest of our existence! We will be in awe of His Holiness, His mercy, His grace, His compassion, His love, His plan, His redemption, HIM. And when we can see His character on display like that, we will be continually thankful. It won’t be a feeling once a year. It will be an attitude of gratitude that characterizes us.
I don’t know about you, but just in writing this post I have been challenged! We have so much to be thankful for. I encourage to record three things in your journal each day that you are thankful for. In just one year, you will have recorded 1,095 things! Even if we were to do this for the rest of our lives, we could never mention every single gift we have been given. Our family, friends, talents, abilities, personalities, and LIVES are all gifts from Him. Let’s fall before Him and ask Him to cultivate in us, a true and sincere ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.
Posted by Olivia