Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, and 31. NKJV.)
Fall! I can smell it in the air. Leaves, laughing as they tumble and swirl, gliding down, covering the ground, pretending to be huge red and gold hand-painted snowflakes. (But we know their tricks well.) Our backyard squirrels, feverishly hiding away the food we’ve provided for them, not knowing that we will resupply more than they could ever eat throughout the winter months. The family of California quail, the doves and the many smaller birds who will dine with us all winter. The nip in the air, frequent rains and foggy mornings, beautiful sunsets, now far to the southwest, coloring the clouds.
And there are other, more ethereal scents wafting from a distant place in my memory. The captivating redolence of turkey and stuffing fresh from the oven, pumpkin and pecan pies cooling on the counter, whipped potatoes with a chunk of real butter, melting on the fluffy white mountain top. Oh, and the turkey gravy! (Makes me weak just thinking about it!) Candied sweet potatoes, cranberry salad, green beans fixed as only grandma knows how to prepare them, complete with “all the trimmings” as Grandpa says.
Thanksgiving Day, country wide. A Norman Rockwell living painting. The family gathered round the big table, holding hands, praying together, giving thanks for blessings of the past year and those blessings we expect during the year to come. And all this while baby sister smiles at the antics of her older brothers. Young colts, these boys, who hear the prayer but are obviously more interested in the drumstick that waits minutes, inches away … their irreverence highly frowned upon by more mature older sister (age 14) who is seated beside mother.
Thanksgiving. The verse in Psalm 107:8, and repeated in verses 15, 21 and 31, certainly was not just an admonition pertaining only to the last Thursday of November in the good old USA. No, I’m sure the verse was meant to stimulate people to give thanks to God world wide and at all times.
I’ve learned a lot about being thankful from my sweet bride during our four years together. For instance, I’d never heard anyone pray like my Susan, who even remembers to thank the Lord for the convenience of hot water in the house. I remember a country place back in Pennsylvania where I lived as a child. That was several years after my father had come home from the Second World War. The old house had as its only plumbing a hand pump for cold spring water mounted on the kitchen sink board. All our hot water was heated on the stove. For everything! Including baths!
I’ve heard Susan thank our Lord for the warm dry house and the lights and for many other seemingly incidental things that most folks take for granted in the twenty-first century.
I’ve been wondering if maybe, just maybe we Christians in America should pull hard on the reins this Thanksgiving season, bring old Bessie to a stand still, and rethink just what we have and what, exactly, we should be thankful for.
Consider making a list, beginning, of course, with thanks to our Father in heaven for drawing us to Him to become His children. Then I would suggest we thank Him for sending His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, to come to earth with the main purpose of dying on the cross as our substitute to pay the debt we owed God for our many sins. Next on the list of “Big Things” might be for the fact that our Heavenly Father sent His Holy Spirit into our hearts to be our Comforter, teacher and guide and to assure us that we are now children of God, seated permanently in God’s family for eternity.
After these basics you could end with thanks for God’s many earthly blessings, including family and friends, jobs, health, etc, etc. And of course last, be thankful for the hot thanksgiving meal and then, for the hot water for the men to do the dishes after dinner.
This year and each day of every year from now on throughout our lives, let’s all begin to thank God for these many things, major and minor, that He has given. Make every day a day of “Thanks Giving.”
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. (Psalm 107:1. NKJV.)
Lord bless you one and all. Until next time,
Carl and Susan
PS: Pray for revival in America; for one more great awakening, first in our Bible believing, gospel preaching, Christ exalting churches. In every heart and life. Then to spread by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, across this once great land. Humbly yet boldly claim God’s promise:
if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14. ESV.)