November 19, 2018
This Thanksgiving week is celebrated in a lot of different ways, hopefully with family and friends whether there is a turkey or not. But the important thing is that we heed the words of Abraham Lincoln in the Thanksgiving Proclamation: “I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, 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.”
The modern media/advertising habit of calling Thanksgiving “Turkey Day” needs to come to an end because no matter how much we enjoy feasting, the purpose of the holiday is not gluttony, it is gratitude. Most of us can share our “thankfuls” around the table and sincerely have something wonderful that we are grateful for.
However, the Bible puts a different slant on gratitude when we are exhorted to be thankful in “all things.” That makes it tougher, doesn’t it? We can easily be thankful when things are good by our standards, but that does not cover “all things.”
As you know, I deal often through my book and programs with grief and depression. Do we give thanks when we lose someone dear? Of course not – it would be inhuman to do so. What we need to do is to be open to the ways in which God works through all things to touch our lives and remind us of His presence and His will.
In my case, I have learned to value life and loved one’s lives more, to appreciate the effects of organ donation, to depend on Jesus’ words and presence more, and to take time to love and give more. Every one of those things are things to be thankful for. And of course, emerging from the worst of a grief journey to again see light in the darkness is something to be thankful for.
No matter what is going on in your life right now, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings throughout the holidays.