"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever." Psalm 107:1 (NLT)The year was 1621. Those who had made the pilgrimage to what is now the United States of America, had a great feast that lasted three days. It was a celebration of thanksgiving to the Lord for His provision and protection which followed a time of extreme hardship in which many had died. None of these precious souls had envisioned the difficulties they would face before they set sail and I often wonder how those who survived were able to show such gratitude after all they endured.
The holiday of Thanksgiving that we observe each year has become a day that is engulfed in activity that causes tensions to run high. Rather than a day of praise and gratitude, it is spent exhausting ourselves attempting to fulfill expectations of family and guests. After the food has been served and the kitchen has been cleaned, men gather around the television and women rush out to shop in stores that now open early to capitalize on Christmas dollars yet to be spent.
Before we know it, midnight as come and the day intended for giving thanks has ended for another year. Recipes made once a year are filed away and all thoughts turn to the next big day of festivities. In all of the hustle and bustle, how much time was actually given to the Lord in appreciation for His great love and care?
Aside from the necessary prayer at the table tomorrow, will we spend any private time with Him reflecting back on how He has sustained us this year? Will our hearts be consumed with gratitude or will our focus be on the troubles of the moment? Whatever our struggles are today will likely still be struggles tomorrow and will be vying for our attention. Will we choose Him over worry and chaos?
We are the Lord's first priority. He is always present. Always listening. Always within our reach. We may not be able to see Him physically with our eyes, but He is always active in our lives. Every blessing that we receive comes directly from His hands. He has promised to take care of our needs and to guide us through each step we need to take. No matter what arises in our lives, His power is greater, His love all-encompassing and He is worthy of our praise.
This year has been full of ups and downs, some of them have knocked me off my feet, which I am sure you have experienced as well. However, the one thing we have always been able to count on is that we have a Father that can be depended upon to pick us up and dust us off and help us take the next step, no matter how hard that step might be. Let's spend time with Him tomorrow letting Him know how much we love and appreciate Him. Without Him, there would be nothing to celebrate.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.