Tomorrow we celebrate the wonderful, though often overlooked, holiday of Thanksgiving. I say overlooked because Halloween and Christmas seem to collide leaving no room for Thanksgiving decorations. I say overlooked because it commemorates no particular event, battle, person or birth. I say overlooked because by the time we do get around to celebrating, we often focus on all the wrong things. We get excited about feasting on a grand turkey dinner, watching football and parades and even shopping.
While none of these things are wrong and I certainly look forward to some of them myself (you can guess as to which ones they might be), I am reminded that the roots of thanksgiving are not in excess, but in contentment; not in leisure, but in struggle; not in getting, but in giving. Our nation has a rich history of setting aside time to give thanks and I believe it is this heart of thankfulness to God that formed the fertile soil in which our great nation has grown. And it isn’t just a holiday, good idea or national heritage; it is a biblical mandate for all of us. The Bible repeatedly urges believers to give thanks to God (Col 1:12, 3:17) and abound in thanksgiving (Col 2:7). We are also told to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (I Thess 5:18).”
For most of us, this should be easy! We certainly have a lot to be thankful for, don’t we? In the midst of all the celebrating, remember that Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name (Psalm 100:4).” As you make your plans for this Thanksgiving Day, make sure to leave room for giving thanks.