As you read this blog you may be preparing for a Thanksgiving meal with your family or texting friends trying to see who’s family would be glad to have you join them. You and your family members may find reason to share old stories and laugh about the good times you’ve had. While you maybe looking forward to a great meal, there are some who view Thanksgiving as pre Black Friday and they are making a list of the items they plan to get first thing Friday morning.
When I was a child my parents taught me to say, “thank you”. Sometimes I had to say “thank you” and I didn’t want to. I can remember having to say “thank you” when someone offered me something that I didn’t want and that was very difficult for me. I wondered if I could just give it back because I didn’t want it anyway. It was during this time that I learned the value of saying thanks. I was taught that when someone thinks enough of you to offer you something out of the kindness of their heart, you should say thanks. Has God given you more than you deserve and did you say thanks? Thanksgiving is an opportunity for us to express our gratitude to God for caring enough about us to bless us.
Thanksgiving in 2015 may be something very different from what Abraham Lincoln had in mind in 1863 when he declared it a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”. It’s also very different from the three day feast in 1621 when 90 Native Americans and 53 Immigrants celebrated the harvest season.
While the way in which we celebrate Thanksgiving may have changed, the reason has not. Think about this, when we say “thanks” we are saying it to someone. We are acknowledging that someone has done something for us which is worthy of thanks. This is one day out of the year where we pause long enough to acknowledge that blessing of God in our lives. Some of us are in a rush to get some of grandmother’s or Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pie others are looking forward to turkey. I want to challenge you to also look forward to telling God “Thank You”. You don’t have to wait for the Thanksgiving meal when someone offers a prayer over the food to say “thank you”, you can say it for yourself.
In Luke 17: 11-19 there’s a story of Jesus healing ten lepers but only one, a foreigner, comes to say thank you. I wonder why the others didn’t say thanks. Could the other nine be like many of us, too busy, in a rush, distracted or even hungry so they did not say thanks? Well what about the foreigner, why did he say thanks, could it be that he realized that Jesus didn’t have to heal him and for that reason he says thanks? Think about your life, it may not be perfect but does God have to bless you with what you have? Does God have to bless you with family or friends? Does God have to bless you with life for the next…second?
Sometimes we take God for granted, we expect some things without thinking about them, things such as clothes, food, shelter or even water. When was the last time you looked at a cup of water and said, “thanks” and meant it? Well today is a great day to reflect on what God has blessed you with and praise our beneficent Father who dwells in the Heavens.