Thanksgiving in an Age of Discontent2
It is often said that we live in an age of discontent. We see this in the political warfare that exists among rival systems of government. We see it in the way different generations of Americans think and talk about each other. Perhaps most practically, we see it in the way that we are always striving for the newer and the better. I find it hard not to be discontent with technology that I don’t own because I fear that as soon as I purchase something, it will be out-of-date and inferior to the yet unseen newer version! The discontented heart is a hard taskmaster. It is constantly pushing me to resent what the Lord has given to me and to complain about what I believe I ought to have. I lose the present and its blessings because I am worried about the future.
So what is the solution to discontentment? It cannot be trying to gain everything that I want – that is a fool’s errand. The acquiring of things simply leads to the desire to obtain more things. And things themselves cannot satisfy: they wear out and become obsolete over time. Even the striving constantly reminds us that we are not content. But there is good news: there is a solution to discontentment! The solution is to give thanks for the blessings we have and to give thanks to the Lord who has provided those blessings. Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful reminder of that blessed duty of thankfulness. It spurs us on to a spirit of thankfulness all year round.
Are you discouraged? Give thanks for the Lord’s provision! Are you worried? When you are thankful for the Lord’s past blessings, you will be reminded that He has promised to take care of you in the future! We can always find something for which to be thankful in all circumstances. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln published a proclamation “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens” in the midst of the deadliest war in American history. Does that mean that we pretend that bad things (like that war) do not exist? No! But we view them through eyes that look toward our good and gracious God who showers His love upon us. As Psalm 136 reminds us:
Amen and amen. Enjoy your day with family, friends, and feasting!