With the weather turning cooler and the days getting shorter, we know it is fall and the holidays are right around the corner. Starting with Halloween, we slide right into Christmas, almost missing the smell of the turkey cooking in the oven. Yes, that day of eating we call Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is increasingly becoming obscured by the materialism of Christmas. So we find ourselves thrust into the rush with hardly any time to celebrate, let alone remembering to be thankful.
Paul tells us in Colossian 3 to “Be thankful, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (NIV).” In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (AMP), he says, “Thank God in everything no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks, for this is the will of God for you who are in Christ Jesus.” What is being thankful? Essentially it is to realize and appreciate a benefit – looking beyond the blessing to its basis. Simple as it seems, we live in a culture that is never satisfied so it is easy to get caught up in the pursuit of more.
Too often our busy lives take precedence over being thankful and we can begin to take for granted all the Lord has done for us. He can give us a clean heart, a heart full of joy, a heart of love, a peaceful heart, a heart of strength, of confidence and more. However, He can’t make us thankful. That is something that has to come from within us, a pure gift out of a heart that recognizes all He has done and continues to do.
For Thanksgiving this year, as you plan and prepare to spend it with family, friends, traveling or just taking a break, dedicate some quiet time to reflecting on what you have in Christ. Make a list. You may even be surprised once you see it in writing. Then, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever” (Psalms 118:29, NIV). There is no better response.