Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays on the American calendar. Most of us are sentimental when it comes to Thanksgiving — and its cherished traditions — at least during the weeks leading up to the holiday. But the truth is that for many, Thanksgiving boils down to a lot of work! From making travel arrangements, and getting the family packed and ready to go, to planning the dinner menu and shopping, and coordinating who is responsible for what… it’s easy for us to get cranky and frustrated especially in the days just before Thanksgiving. It seems a celebration of giving thanks is the last thing on our minds as T-Day arrives.
Then, Thanksgiving Day is finally here, and you wake up to your own reality show, called “Thanksgiving Nightmares”:
• You’re all packed up. You’ve finally got the family in the car (late!), and you have to drive 60 miles to get to your T-Day celebration. You jump on the highway and suddenly encounter a 10-mile backup of stop and go traffic. And now, little Tommy announces that he has to pee. Really. Bad. Fun, fun, fun!
• Your turkey is thawing in the kitchen and you had no clue that your dog loves raw turkey until you noticed him gnawing on one of the drumsticks on the living room carpet. At least Ruff is giving thanks!
• A dozen people will be arriving in a few minutes for the Thanksgiving dinner you are hosting, and all three of your kids have just come down with an explosive intestinal virus. Wait, is that the doorbell?! Sharing is so nice at Thanksgiving, but this isn’t exactly what you had in mind.
If “Murphy’s Law” is in effect, it must be Thanksgiving season. As I’ve heard it said, “Stuffing happens.” It’s no wonder we can so easily ignore the “giving thanks” part of this holiday.
So, allow me to simply remind you that there is always at least one good reason to give thanks, whatever your circumstances this Thanksgiving season, and it is this: God is good.
Here are three of my favorite ways that God displays His goodness:
1) God is good because He gives us free gifts. Everyone loves a free gift, right? God is good because His gifts are amazing! We read in Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God is so rich in mercy, He loved us so much, that He gave us back our lives again when He raised Christ from the dead. Only by His undeserved favor have we been saved.” Do we deserve God’s kindness? No. Do we deserve His mercy? No. Do we deserve His forgiveness? No. God loves us and He gives us these free gifts. This is a reason to be thankful! Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever. –Psalm 106:1 (NLT)
2) God is good because He loves us unconditionally. God loves us not for what we’ve done but for who we are. This is a core truth about God and worthy of our embrace. God’s love isn’t based on our income. It’s not based on our job. It’s not based on our looks. It’s not based on the way we dress. God’s love for us has no strings attached. There’s nothing you can do to earn God’s love. This is a reason to be thankful! Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever. –Psalm 106:1 (NLT)
3) God is good because he offers us life forever. In the midst of all of the craziness happening in the world, we can be thankful that God wants our future to include real life! He offers us life to the full–here and now (see John 10:10)–and someday, life in heaven. We read in 1 Peter 1:4-5, “and we have a priceless inheritance–an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”
This is a reason to be thankful! Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever. –Psalm 106:1 (NLT)
As parents, we set the pace for our families as to whether or not this Thanksgiving will be a day of family, friends, food, football, and fun or whether the bar will be raised to a holiday where giving thanks is at the focus of the celebration, and not only an afterthought.
God is good! He gives amazing gifts! He loves you unconditionally! He gives us life now and a future in heaven. So, what are you waiting for? Thanksgiving Day? There’s no need to wait! Make November a season of giving thanks!
Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever. –Psalm 106:1 (NLT)