I had a conversation at our church’s annual Thanksgiving meal with some friends of mine. We were discussing Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day and came to the agreement that it almost seems like Thanksgiving gets lost in the shuffle. Sure, most people still get together with family and eat. But when they do, how many times are there already Christmas decorations up and Christmas music playing? Some people even have gifts under the tree already . . .
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I see nothing wrong with that at all. Christmas is exciting, and it’s a holiday that most of us greatly look forward to. It is, after all, the celebration of the birth of our Savior into this world. That’s certainly worth celebrating year round!
Over the years my motivation for looking forward to it has changed drastically, I must admit. When I was a child, I remember looking forward to that JCPenney Christmas catalog coming in so I could pick out the toys I was so longing to open on Christmas. And the closer we got to the big day, the more anticipation I felt about seeing whether or not they were under the tree.
Now I feel the same level of excitement but not for gifts. I can’t wait to see family and spend that quality time with them. But before Christmas there’s another very important holiday: Thanksgiving
God was at the center of the foundation of this nation called the United States of America. If you’ll take time to read the historical writings of our founding fathers, you’ll see just how His hand was instrumental in shaping all that brought about the settlement of this land. And on that first “Thanksgiving Day”, the early settlers of this country sat down to eat with the true ancestors of this land, Native Americans. They were celebrating their thankfulness to God for His provision, protection, providential leadership, and plan for the future.
And so we come to today.
Exactly a week from today, most of us will gather around the table with family we may only see a few times a year. We’ll laugh, hug, eat, and just enjoy the company of so many loved ones. Undoubtedly there are many who will face a dinner table that’s missing someone for the first time this season, and their hearts will be heavier than normal. Nonetheless, we have so much to be grateful for on this day. So why not choose to focus on God’s provision, protection, providential leadership, and plan for the future?
God is so faithful, even when we just don’t understand. Well, actually God is faithful especially when we don’t understand. He is good. He is just. He is holy. He is love. He is righteousness. He is faithful. So don’t forget it.
Join me in spending the next seven days leading up to Thanksgiving Day by taking at least fifteen minutes praising Him for all He’s done. During this time of prayer, I’m committed to not asking Him for a single thing. Period. This will be a time to simply tell God how much I love Him and how thankful I am for all He’s done and continues to do in my life.
On the day after Thanksgiving, I’ll turn on the Christmas music and begin to put up the tree and the décor. But until then, it’s all about Thanksgiving. And I’ll do my very best to make sure I don’t forget.
That’s just a thought, and I welcome yours.
Until next time,
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