Where has the year gone? I don’t know about you but the holidays, by their very nature…a break from the regular grind, tend to usher in a time of reflection. With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, I have begun to think about what this holiday really means to me. I know the cliché answers such as we remember a good harvest or the historical celebration between the natives and the pilgrims but in truth those reasons fall short of why I celebrate this holiday.
Thanksgiving or giving of thanks. It is an act, generally speaking, we do every day as a routine part of politeness or general civility. Thank you for getting me that report or thanks for helping with the flat tire but that is not really what this holiday means to me…that is just being polite.
For me, as it is I suspect for so many of you, it is a time to be with family. It is a time to share meals with loved ones, catch a football game or two and see how you can spend your hard earned money on cheap goods at crazy hours. But even that falls short.
I recently came across Psalm 50. It’s an unusual Psalm written in God’s voice asking this question, “What do you give a God who has everything?” He simply asks for thanks by the singular dedication of our lives to Him. He asks for a giving of thanks from each and every one of us by the dedication of our hearts to him.
A friend of mine was in his church recently and looked over at his wife, his 3 children and 4 grandchildren (with two more on the way) and just buckled under the weight of what has been given to him. He is a recovering drug addict and survived not one, not two, not three but four attempts at suicide by overdose. He shared, "The only thing I could give back to God was thanks in the form of the giving of my life to my Savior."
You see I think this is the real reason for this season of Thanksgiving. It is a time to reflect on the blessings God has given you. If you would take account of the blessings: maybe you or a member of your family survived cancer, maybe your grandchild survived a traumatic birth event, maybe your family was released of the suffering brought on by Alzheimer’s, maybe you have found love again or for the first time, maybe you were blessed with work. There are so many reason to have a deep, genuine thankful encounter with the God who has everything. Can I encourage you to take a moment and think about your blessings? Then with a heart of gratitude (not a simple notion of politeness or civility) but with a humbled heart give God a heart-filled thanksgiving for all He has done for you.