Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

There are many reasons that I love about Thanksgiving Day, not the least of which is the wonderful meal as we gather together to eat.

It is early on Thanksgiving right now, and the aroma that fills our house is breathtaking.  The pumpkin pies, a pecan pie, a lemon meringue pie, a chocolate crunch dessert.  The leftover pie dough was given a dust of sugar and cinnamon, cut and rolled into little cinnamon rings for treats.  The turkey has thawed and now set into the oven to cook for hours.  The dressing and all the trimmings are to be finished and ready by one o'clock.

Add to that, the fact that Evan and Crystal and Shawn and little Bailey, will all be here for a time of celebration and food.

But this day is much more than food.  It is much more than family members present.  Yes, it is about family and food, to be sure.  But that must not be the primary consideration.  It is a day to be reminded of the goodness of our God.  We have so much to be grateful for.  In spite of our lousy finances, in spite of some tough health issues, in spite of any poor weather, in spite of some dysfunctional spite of all things considered, we are most blessed.

Here is a poem that I read recently.  It sums up our need to endure all things and carry a thankful spirit.

                                       I Now Give Thanks

For every hill I've had to climb,
For every stone that bruised my feet,
For all the blood and sweat and grime,
For blinding storms and burning heat.

     My heart sings but a grateful song,
     These were the things that made me strong!

For all the heartaches and the tears,
For all the anguish and the pain,
For gloomy days and fruitless years,
And for the hopes that lived in vain.

     I do give thanks, for now I know,
     These were the things that helped me grow!

'Tis not the softer things of life,
Which stimulate man's will to strive,
But bleak adversity and strife,
Do most to keep man's will alive.

     O'er rose-strewn paths the weaklings creep,
     But brave hearts dare to climb the steep.

I remember reading a story that illustrates our need to show a grateful heart.  The story talks about two angels who are sent to earth with baskets.  One angel has a basket in which he is to collect the petitions and requests and then return to heaven.  The other angel is to collect all the prayers of thanks and then return to heaven.  The two angels carry out their mission, come back to sit down together and discuss the results.  The angel with petitions has a basket that is full and overflowing.  The basket of the other angel is almost empty.  In fact, there was only a handful of thanksgiving prayers to show.  How sad that heaven is pounded with needs and desires and begging for God's divine intervention, but then rarely receives the joyful words of thanksgiving and gratefulness!
That may hit home to many of us.  So, let us do as the old hymn challenges us to do:  "Count your blessings, name them one by one.  Count your many blessings, see what God hath done!"
Thanks you, Jesus.  Above all, we are given eternal life through You.  We are blessed beyond measure.  What a wonderful Thanksgiving we can enjoy because of Your great love.

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