It’s Thanksgiving Day, a day first set aside by President Lincoln in 1863, as a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
Of course, you know it is Thanksgiving! The car is packed and ready to travel over the river and through the woods to visit family and friends if we haven’t already made the journey. Turkeys and hams are in the oven and all the rest of your favorite fixings are warming on the stove. The table is set, ready for the feast. Perhaps the TV is set up for the afternoon sports, or puzzles and games have been brought out of the closet for some fun times. There will be a boisterous time for sharing and laughing at worn out family stories and jokes. And perhaps a time of sadness. No matter how old are or what you’ve accomplished, you’ll likely take your birth order place once again at the table and be remembered fondly as you were years ago.
All this is evidence of the day we set aside to be thankful for family, friends, food, laughter, home, and health. Hopefully we remember to give thanks for such a great and compassionate God. But after the day has passed, even after the leftovers are gone, will the evidence of thanksgiving remain in our hearts?
It doesn’t happen automatically of course. Just as we are so intentional about organizing the special day’s festivities, we need to be intentional each day to keep the scales of our lives tipped to thanksgiving. We need to be intentional in remembering who God is, all he’s done, and all he still promises on our behalf. It is the intentional humbling of our hearts and appreciating and valuing others that gives real evidence to a thankful life. It is evidenced in our intentional choosing generosity over greed, sensitivity over callousness, and others over self. When we are so thankful for our forgiveness we find it easy to forgive others. When we realize the grace that has so freely been bestowed on us, we are compelled to give grace to others.
Is there evidence of thanksgiving in your Facebook posts, your emails, your checkbook register? Is a heart of thanksgiving evident to the waitress at the restaurant, the clerk at the store, and those you meet on the street? is there someone across the world who knows your name and gives thanks for you? let’s let our thankfulness be evident each day!
Give thanks in all circumstances. 1 Thessalonians 5:18