Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV
November is the beginning of three months of holiday celebration beginning with Thanksgiving and ending with New Year’s Eve. The purpose behind each of these holidays is to gather together with family and friends to rejoice, first for an abundant harvest, next for the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and last, well actually first, to welcome a new year. As I ponder, the events that most families will be preparing to celebrate. I wonder, what does it mean to be thankful?
Thanksgiving, is a strange word. Thanks means to be appreciative, for food, jobs, shelter, and relationships. Giving means to share out of what you have, to pass on to another without expecting something back in return. Sometimes it can be hard to be thankful in the midst of turmoil and loss. It seems like our finances are stretched thinnest during the holidays when we can least afford it. Spouses lose their jobs, health problems develop, bills come due, utilities increase, and the kids always have needs. Life is filled with stressful events beyond our control, and we wonder how we are going to make it.
There is hope. God provides. He takes care of his children and blesses them. He gives them what they need. It sounds corny and hard to believe, but it is true. All God asks of us in return is for our gratitude and worship. When we thank God in the middle of a messy life situation, when our hearts are breaking and we cannot see our way out, thanking God makes the situation more bearable. When we give out of the little we have, our hearts begin to heal and we are blessed. In Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:1-4, Jesus used the example of the widow who gave her last coin and the wealthy who gave out of their abundance. God blessed the widow because her gift was a sacrifice that she gave without expecting something in return. She gave knowing it was her last bit of income; she gave out of her love for God.
The miracle in Thanksgiving is the eternal blessing of God’s love that he gives freely without expecting or demanding something in return. When we share with others, relationships are forged and become the food of blessing. May our Lord and Savior bless you and your family this Thanksgiving season with his cornucopia of love, family, and manna from heaven.
Catherine L. Thorington, B.S.