Hey friends, how are you today? How was your week? We have been enjoying the very best weather over here in my neck of the woods. We are in the month of November, one month away from the end of the year and all week long, our temperature has been in the 70s°. The weather has been absolutely glorious the last few days; blue skies, bright, beautiful sunshine, fall leaves on the ground playing hide and seek with the wind. I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I’ve been, especially as our first born has also decided to spend some time with us. I just want to soak up every one of days like these, because truly they are a gift from God.
In just a few weeks, we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It will be different certainly; less people, perhaps less food, less gaiety, (maybe even less shopping) but hopefully thankful hearts will be present. As a child and also a teenager, when I was asked to name a few things I was thankful for, believe me when I say, I could not think of any. It sound so trite and unremarkable to say, ‘I’m thankful for my family , for food (everybody said those things, I wanted to stand out, I wanted to be different, but I could not think of anything that had not already been said.
The month of November has always brought thanksgiving, more than any other month, to the forefront of my mind, (I wonder why?) Most days, in my time with the Lord, I do give thanks, but at times, it feels obligatory, not very intentional. Why do you think the giving of thanks is as necessary as breathing for us as Christians? The Lord commands us to give Him thanks, but is it because He needs it? Does it add to His stature when we say, “thank you”? Do the words profit Him in any way? Do they benefit Him?
I don’t think saying thanks makes the Lord bigger, stronger, better in any way. Neither does it endear us to Him any more than we are already endeared. God is not a man, like you and me that require thanks for us to keep giving or loving. We hold it against each when the other person does not say “thank you” for all that we’ve done for them. We are upset when others take what we do for them as their due. Isn’t it upsetting when our kids or spouse do that? Take our generous nature as a given, as if we are supposed to do that. God already has and owns everything and everyone. As Job says, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away”; may we say like him, “blessed be the name of the Lord”. (Job 1:21)
So why then should we give thanks, if it adds nothing to God’s stature? We gives thanks for our good! Giving thanks helps us to look back, to take stock, to compare (not against each other, but where we are today against where we were yesterday). It allows us to evaluate our lives and its direction; helps us to realize that in spite of the severity of our life today, it could always be worse. When we give thanks, we starve depression of its hold on us. We make our days glad and the lives of others around us happy. We give and get hope when we say, “thank You”, because we know better days will come in the morning. When we say “thank You” we allow ourselves to breathe and find joy and beauty in our present circumstances. We are reminded we are not alone; not only are there others like us, perhaps with similar issues, but there is also the presence of the God of the universe. We are reassured of the goodness and greatness and mercy and grace of God. We are reminded of His faithfulness and His strength. Our foundation in Him is reinforced, when we say, “thank You”. We have a testimony to share with our words, because we are aware that others need hope too. We learn to rest and take comfort in the promises of God, which frees us to ease the heart of others.
So today, take the time to give thanks. Intentionally reflect on your blessings, whatever they may be, say ‘thank you’. Say “thank you” in spite of the circumstances and because of the circumstances. Remember our God is bigger than all the mountains combined, deeper than all the valleys and He is greater than the sum of all our problems.
Why do you give thanks? What are you thankful for, today?