It’s Thanksgiving Week!!! Hip, hip, hooray! I just love Thanksgiving! I have been so blessed by my Creator, and I just love that there is a special day set aside when everyone takes time to thank the Lord – or so I thought. Unfortunately, I am hearing a lot of whining, complaining, griping, arguing, and criticism coming from fellow Christians – people who should be thankful – thankful for the Savior who loves them, thankful for fellow believers, thankful for His goodness to us on a daily basis!
Whenever we sit down for a meal, Hannah is not allowed to leave the table until she has said two things – “Thank you for the good food” and “Please may I be excused?” Even if she doesn’t like the food I have prepared, she still has to thank me for preparing it. And it is good food; it is healthy, fresh, and lovingly-prepared (even when it’s burned!). Children all around the world are going days and even weeks without even a piece of bread to fill their swollen, empty bellies. So is it important for Hannah to be thankful for the food that she doesn’t like? Of course, it is!
I think just about every parent I know would agree with me that we want our children to be thankful, so why aren’t we demanding the same attitude from ourselves? Even those of us who were hit hard by the downturn in the economy were still not as poor as families in third world countries! We have shelters, food banks, health programs, churches, and a myriad of other help centers to aid us in our times of need. That is certainly not meant to disregard those in need in our country, but the majority of us are not wanting this holiday season! Maybe you’re not eating a big feast; but if you are even enjoying a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich, then you are blessed!
But even if you are struggling, can’t you be thankful for the One who created you? The One who sees your need and longs for you to cry out to Him?
I want to end the cycle of negativity that I’ve been seeing on the Internet lately and take this opportunity to list just a few of the things for which I am truly thankful:
1. My Lord and Savior – After hearing a friend’s testimony in church on Sunday, I am reminded again of just how easily I could have left my Christian environment and turned to a life of worthlessness, abuse, and misery. Without my Lord and Savior, I am nothing. But with Him, I have “a hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).
2. My adoring husband – If you haven’t known me all my life, then you can’t possibly understand how amazed I am that I am married! I struggled with my self-worth as a teenager, and I was certain that no man would ever want me. I am so thankful that God took matters in His own hand and gave me someone who loves me for who I am!
3. My beautiful children – It was such a struggle for me to become a mom! I wrestled with God over His plan for my life, and I am so thankful that He filled my empty arms with two children whom I absolutely adore!
4. My children’s birth mom – How can I not be thankful for someone who gave my children life? She was urged to abort both of my children, but she made the wonderful choice to give me the opportunity to be a mother instead. How can I not love her?
5. A godly heritage – I don’t know why I have been blessed to be raised in a Christian home when so many others struggle in ungodly, abusive situations. So I am so thankful for my parents, who have prayed for me, cried about me, and persevered with me to lead me to my Savior.
6. A godly church family – For many of us, this is something that we take for granted, but many churches around the country are dividing, backbiting, and creating havoc among the body of believers. I am thankful for godly leadership who help to steer our church family back to the Gospel instead of choosing to push their own personal beliefs.
7. Loving friends – I know that I can be a very difficult person to love, so I am very thankful for the people who loyally stick by my side and love me even though they’re not related to me! I have some amazing women in my life who encourage me, uplift me, and pray for me on a daily basis. I am so thankful for them!
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100)