Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reflections on Thankfulness

I guess the Lord is making me think twice as hard about thankfulness this year. I posted a piece yesterday about how bland we are when we offer up thanksgiving to our maker, and here I am again today; seemingly with more to say.

Remember, when you think about who you're talking to, you realize you can be as open and colorful as you want to be, nobody hears you but your best friend forever - the one who truly can keep secrets if what you say is something you don't want anyone else to know. So, if you want to say, Lord, I am so hungry that I am surprised that my stomach didn't growl out loud in the meeting today. I am so thankful that you didn't let that happen. Whatever, anything you're thankful for, share it with the Lord. Let Him be your best friend.

After I posted my blog yesterday, two things occurred which caused me to stop again and think about things pertaining to being thankful.

First, my son's fifth grade class presented a program, and when I arrived at the program, I had no idea of the content because he had not been very forthcoming about it, so I went with an open mind and no expectations. This was a program about the "spirit of America" and remembering our heritage. The background of the pledge of allegiance was given, including reference to the words "in God we trust" being added in (I think) 1954 if I remember correctly, and it was recited by all. They then sang the Star Spangled Banner, gave the history of such symbols of America's freedom as the bald eagle, the liberty bell, the flag and the statue of liberty. They sang about four or five additional songs, including (can you believe it?) "When the Saints Go Marching In". I cried folks, because I could see the hope, the belief and the happiness on these little ones' faces. They put their whole selves into the actions and my heart ached. I hope and I pray that these little ones have a better life than the one I envision based on what I see happening in America today. I hope and pray that they come out of school with their freedom in tact (if the Lord has not tarried) and with their hearts in God's hands and their eyes focused on Christ. I hope and pray that there will be something of the "old America" left for them to enjoy.

Then, last evening, my son and I went to our Tuesday night cell group class for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders (I lead the girls). One of tasks was to write a letter to God telling Him what we are thankful for. I encouraged everyone to use some adjectives, be colorful and really describe the things that they love and appreciate. I was truly impressed by what I heard from the young girls.

Here is what God layed on my heart:

God, I am so grateful that you did not make the sky red. Red can be an angry color, and blue is so peaceful.

Thank you for autumn when everything is brightly colored and beautiful and leaves crunch under our feet and heavy rains cause us to stay inside, read books, play games and sip warm drinks.

Thank you, too, for winter and the way we can enjoy making snowmen, snowballs and snowcream.

I love spring, Lord, because everything is blooming, budding and being given new life, just like me.

Thank you, great Creator, that I was fearfully and wonderfully made, by You, right down to the mole on my right leg.

And, oh, God, don't let me forget summer, because I love summer, too. I thank you for the beautiful nights when I can sit on my porch and look at the moon and the stars and know you're there; listening with me, watching with me. I love that;...and, oh, and the flowers, too, Lord and the fresh fruit and vegetables; oh and fireflies and crickets and bullfrogs chirping in the neighbors' pond. There's so much, God; I can't even think of all the things I love.

Father, you have been so good to me. Who am I and what did I do to deserve such love? Thank you for for the gifts from your hand; all the things you created for me to enjoy, and especially for the love of Jesus, who thought I was worth dying for in order that I could be with you always.

And now, this morning, as I read during my quiet time, the Lord lead me to isaiah 25 which in my NLT Bible is titled, "Praise for Judgment and Salvation".

Isaiah 25:6-8.

In Jerusalem, the LORD Almighty will spread a wonderful feast for everyone around the world. It will be a delicious feast of good food, with clear, well-aged wine and choice beef. In that day he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth. He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The LORD has spoken! In that day the people will proclaim, "This is our God. We trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, in whom we trusted. Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!"

If you have given your life to Christ, submitted to Him as your God, Lord, Savior, King and last, but definitely not least, Friend, the day is coming, my friend when we will sit at a Thanksgiving Feast with Him as our host, and our voices will not be meek or lowly, but we will be praising Him at the top of our voices, we will want ALL to hear how God loved us, bought us, sought us and restored us to Himself. There will be no bland praise and worship at that Thanksgiving Dinner. The Bible says we'll share the best wine and the choicest meat, there will be NOTHING to be sad or depressed about; no worries about money or making ends meet; no worry about disease or death--He has defeated death, and HE will wipe away EVERY tear!!!

If that doesn't cause you to rejoice and give Thanks today, I don't know what will!

Have a blessed, thankful, wonderful Thanksgiving!!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Kim! What a wonderful set of gifts your son and his class have given you (and you, with us).

    As much as I look on America's rapid fall and despair for my children, I have to rest on the promise that what is coming -- on the other side of trials and sufferings -- is far FAR better than any halcyon national past we could possibly pine for or any quasi-Babylonian three-car-garage and a nice vacation home hopes in which we have improperly invested for the future.