Thanksgiving Is Not a Holiday
“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” (I Timothy 4:4).
Summer has once again collapsed into fall leaving us all wondering where the year ran away to so quickly. With the changing of the leaves and temperature, one of my favorite calendar days is on its way, and my heart and my stomach are both making preparations. Thanksgiving, for me, is something extra special.
I imagine if you read the title of this you are probably ready to throw your freshly baked turkeys at me, but hold onto the birds and hear me out. Holidays are vacations or specific time periods set aside to celebrate something. To me, Thanksgiving is an everyday occurrence. Yes I realize it marks a historical event, but what if we made the concept of thanksgiving a recurring episode in our daily lives? Thanksgiving should be something we celebrate regularly in some way.
I can imagine what the first Thanksgiving dinner was like. All the pilgrims and Indians sitting around a big table breaking bread and cutting turkey. More than the attire has changed since the Mayflower days, but the concept still remains the same. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
For most of us, it is engrained in our brains at a very young age to mind our manners and be polite. Say “Yes, ma’am” and “Yes, sir,” “Please and thank you,” and always respect your elders. If you learned it like I did, it never really goes away; rather it grows up with you. You see things a bit differently when you change your perspective and open your heart’s eyes.
I recognize this in a real sense every time my loved ones gather for the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, they always seem to have something to fight over and throw rolls about, but when it’s all over but the shouting, we know what it means to be grateful.
Yes, I get excited for turkey and pie, but more than all of the delicacies, when I look around the room and see my family laughing and cheering on football teams, my heart—not my stomach—longs for second and third helpings. The same admiration can be given when dealing with our heavenly Father. I just cannot seem to get enough. Every good thing comes from Him. Even the things we perceive to be hurtful, He uses in our favor. My simple vocabulary cannot accurately articulate Him or His grandeur. He is a good, good God.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever; the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever; the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 136:1-9).
Our society will go to extreme measures and trample over innocent bystanders on Black Friday in a violent force of want in order to get the latest gadget just a day after spending time being thankful for what they already have. It seems the more we have, the more we want. Satisfaction is a word that is as fleeting as an IOS update. We never seem to be gratified but rather greedy for gain.
Wanting can drive a man wild. It can push a millionaire over the edge and into his grave because he is discontented with his rich, empty life. It causes women to undergo surgeries, facelifts, eating disorders, unhealthy relationships and many other avenues in vain, pretentious efforts to be filled.
Longing like this can run as deep as a southerner’s roots. When you want something bad enough you will go to extremes to attain it. Desire—in and of itself—is not negative, it is when our wanting supersedes our passion for God that we are in danger. Anything I put before Him is an idol.
A thankful heart is one of the greatest joys in life. God wants us to be content in Him. It is His will for us to be thankful. He likes to bless His children, but can you be a good steward of what He gives you?
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
Look around you, not just on this holiday, but every day you are blessed to wake up. You may not have a perfect life, but you are in the hands of a perfect Savior. Just think about how blessed you really are. You never outgrow gratefulness, and each day is a new day to give thanks.
Rachel Thorne was born in Florida and has lived in many places throughout the United States. She is a graduate of Urshan College, formerly known as Gateway College of Evangelism. She wants to make a difference and change her world. Rachel is actively seeking the will of God for her life and is willing to do whatever He has for her.