Although the holiday falls on tomorrow, I will too busy eating a giant ham and assorted sides (no, we are not Turkey People) to post. So I am posting today, mostly because Thanksgiving is worth thinking about, especially if we consider it in the broader spectrum of our lives.
This is the time of year where everyone’s focus shifts. People think about things like family and love and friendship and togetherness; we do a little charity giving and gift buying; we go around the table and say what we’re thankful for. All of that is well and good, but I find that the Thanksgiving heart, which is followed by the Christmas spirit, is all too quickly mowed down by January apathy, February disillusionment, and March boredom.
Let me encourage you, at your Thanksgiving celebrations this year (whatever and however they are), to look around and identify what encourages and blesses you most. Is it being with family? Is it gathering with friends? Is it taking the time to thank others for what they’ve meant to you? To really dwell on gratitude and what you’ve been given? To thank God for His grace? Figure it out – and then do that for the rest of the year and into next year.
This season, take the chance to make a Thanksgiving commitment instead of letting the gratitude die after a day. If family is what matters to you, then call them more often, or arrange more get-togethers, or simply communicate more, after January arrives. If it’s your friends, hold some out-of-season gatherings. If it’s the spirit of giving, give whatever you can as the winter settles in and continue to do so until spring. Find a neighbor in need or a charity you care about or opportunities at your church. And learn to practice your gratitude to God daily. The spirit needn’t die when the holiday passes.
On that note, I’m going to close this post with two more testimonies I received. I hope they’ll bless you the way they’ve blessed me. May your turkey be well-cooked, your gatherings peaceful, and your preparations stress-free. Mostly, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I pray you find a moment to steal away with God and have a grateful moment.
From Danielle, in West Virginia:
I’m spiritually thankful for God’s comfort during rough and trying times. Many times God’s comfort and peace was the only thing that has got me through tough situations. When going into surgery, losing loved ones or feeling worthless, God always provides.
And from Roger, in South Carolina:
As much as I am so thankful for what God has given me (most of all the cross), I find myself this year thanking God for what He has taken from me. Pride, desire, selfishness, and so many of those attributes. I find only when those were taken from me I truly had the room for all the love He had to give me. Now I find so often in my life that i feel cradled like a child in His arms. Content and at peace, but in such a way that is hard to describe. Thank God.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! All grace and joy and peace to you.