Tuesday, November 20, 2012
How Do You Give Thanks?
I've been noticing a lot of people posting things they are thankful for in anticipation of the celebration of Thanksgiving day. I believe it is called 30 Days of Thanks.
Along with many other things that I have considered "good" for the whole length of my life, I have been pondering the Thanksgiving holiday.
It's really not fun when God opens your eyes to a truth of something that is in direct opposition to a previously held belief. When He does, you can rest assured that (if your life has really been submitted to Christ) you will not be at peace until you decide what you're going to do with what He has shown you. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Thanksgiving day is bad or wrong. I just think how we go about it is wrong. Psalm 92:1 tells us that it "is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord..."
We have taken a day that was set aside to share the bounty that God provided to the settlers and to give thanks to God for that bounty and the fact that they had enough food to survive another winter, and we have turned it into a food/football/shopping orgy with perhaps (if He's lucky) a 20 second prayer of thanks for the food offered up to God.
It is so easy for mankind to take something that is good and right (Thanksgiving Day) and turn it into something that God must surely find offensive by making it all about us instead of all about Him. Instead of a fine meal offered up quietly and thankfully with lots of reflection of His goodness, we have made it all about how much food we can consume, how much alcohol we can consume, how much football we can watch in one day or how much shopping we can get done. None of that glorifies God, does it?
God has convicted me of it. In prior years, I would prepare this unbelievable table of food and desserts and punch and tea and coffee and soft drinks that you would think I had a football team coming to eat. Not so this year. There's too many hurting, hungry people out there...right here in the USofA; not to mention all over the rest of the globe. So, yes, I will prepare a turkey and I made homemade bread today and a cheesecake and on Thursday, we will have a salad and mashed potatoes and gravy and my mother-in-law is bringing cranberry relish and a vegetable dish. And it is my intent to share a devotional from the Bible and offer up a true prayer of thanksgiving for the many ways that God's love for us is evident each and every day. So I ask you...how will you spend your Thanksgiving day? Will there be time set aside for personal devotions, praise and worship and prayer? Will it be a day of overindulging to the point of feeling stuffed and uncomfortable? Will the power to your TV set ever be set on "OFF"? Or will be you be mesmerized by the advertising flyers in the daily paper deciding which "Black Friday" sale to attend? Isn't it bad enough that Christmas is the most commercial time in the year; do we have to make Thanksgiving a sham, too?
God has richly blessed me and my family, and I pray that you, my friend, know Him and realize that He is the giver of all good gifts because everything was made by Him and for Him (including you!). God bless you and have a happy Thanksgiving.
Heavenly Father, You know my heart about this because you are the one who has convicted me of my sin. Please forgive me for never giving you enough...enough praise, enough thanks, enough glory, enough time, and enough love. I know it's a small step, Lord, but it IS a step. I have heard your voice and I am following your direction. Less is more with regard to consumption (whether it's food, fun, or football) and more is what it's all about when it comes to being thankful. Open our eyes to the abundance that you have provided to us, and inspire us to be REALLY thankful. Let our lives show it. Lead us in being generous with others. Fill our mouths with praise and thanksgiving to you, our Lord, Redeemer and King. In Jesus' name. Amen