Thanksgiving! It’s not just a turkey, family, pilgrims, corn and pumpkin pie…it’s an action. To GIVE thanks.
At night, when I tuck the kids in, I always ask each one “What are you thankful for today?”. My son is faithful with his answer…”For YOU, Mom!”. Then I remind him, “What, specific to this day, are you thankful for?”. There was a night last week when he was having a difficult time thinking of something. I asked him to look around his room and just tell me what he sees. He began to list the items that he saw….toys, pictures, books, a bunk bed, his favorite stuffed giraffe….just things. Then I asked him to close his eyes and tell me about some things that weren’t in his room that he was thankful for. The list got much bigger and more broad. Now, we were on the right track! Sometimes he has to put a conscious effort in to it, but there is no end to that list of reasons to be thankful.
David is one of those men that I really identify with. No, I am not a king…have never tended sheep or wrestled bear (though my daughter has the qualities of both at times)….I have never picked up a sling shot or fought in a great battle. Those are all things we hear about in the stories we are taught as kids. But, reading about David as an adult is a very different experience for me. He was a man after God’s own heart, but still a man. He pursued God, but fell short sometimes. He made mistakes, fell to errors in judgement, lost a child, was pursued, repented and corrected his course time and again….and yet, laced through the pages of Psalms there are countless passages of thanks and praise.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever! Psalm 100:5, 106:1, 107:1, 118:1 and again in Psalm 136:1
But in case you missed it…. Give Thanks to the God of gods; His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords; His love endures forever. Psalm 136:2-3
In Psalm 136, David even gives some examples of what to be thankful for…creation, deliverance from captivity,and food to every creature. He was giving thanks for things that happened well before his time on earth, and it just drives home that point for me that there is always something to be thankful for…past, present and future. There are other verses about being thankful and giving thanks in the Bible that are favorites too.
In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
And whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
Four years ago, Thanksgiving Day was the due date I was given for a baby to be born into our little family. We never had the pleasure of meeting that child, but my thoughts linger on that little one around the Thanksgiving holiday. Into every life a little rain must fall….and after that rain, there is potential for amazing growth. If we had not incurred that loss, our daughter would not be batting her beautiful blue eyes at us every morning. Even in the face of loss- I can give thanks.