Be thankful that there is much for which to be thankful
Thanksgiving is a day on which we have the opportunity to stop, look around us, and remember that we have much for which to be thankful. Even the very day of the holiday speaks to this – a pause in the middle of the week, the last “official” day before the craziness of the Christmas shopping season begins. Now more than ever we need Thanksgiving. Our lives seem more and more non-stop, running here and there, obsessed with capturing every moment of “downtime” in order to be more productive. The great problem with such activity (besides being exhausting!) is that it dulls our senses to the many things for which we should be thankful.
Another enemy of thankfulness is disappointment. Whenever circumstances do not turn out as we wish they would, we are tempted to focus solely on the disappointment. We forget all the blessing that the Lord has provided. For example, there are always events in our nation that cause us to be discouraged. But when we focus on those events, we forget that despite all its flaws, we live in a country where we have freedom to worship and speak. When we focus on health challenges, we forget that the Lord has given common grace to us in the form of countless medical advancements and treatments. We may indeed be suffering (and that is never easy or to be made light of), but those who lived before us would have died. The truth is that thankfulness is what gives us the strength to go in spite of difficulties – to know that the Lord has not forgotten us and that He has indeed blessed us each and every day.
So this Thanksgiving Day, listen to the encouragement of the Apostle Paul, who noted that thanksgiving comes with a song in our hearts: “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19–20).