“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever!” Ps 136:1 As I am writing this article the maple tree across the street has reached is full splendor of fall foliage. It is bright red and keeps almost all its leaves until all have turned crimson. It is beautiful. It is one thing for which I give thanks every year at this time.
Thanksgiving day is coming and with it the launch of the full holiday season: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. I’d like to encourage you to start early this year. Not buying gifts, but practicing thankfulness.
Do you have something for which to give thanks? I’m sure you do. You may also have sorrows, and burdens, but you have blessings as well. Can you name them?
Start with something close at hand. Something basic, fundamental, everyday. In fact, so mundane that you think it is trivial to mention as a blessing for which you are thankful.
Now, try to imagine how your life would be different without that one thing. Suddenly even the most familiar and taken-for-granted things become rich blessings. And when these mundane things take on their true character in our eyes, we have a real chance to grow in thankfulness.
I sat in on the Disciple Sunday School class a few weeks ago. Ann Voskamp said something very profound on the video. I wrote it down as carefully as I could. “Gratitude is not just remembering things. Gratitude is memory of God’s heart.” (from One Thousand Gifts.)
You see, true gratitude moves us past the gift to the giver. And in the case of God it reminds us of his heart. He loves us. And his love endures forever. As we practice gratitude, our thanksgiving will have a profound impact on our spiritual life. Our faith will grow because we will recognize God’s care and remember his heart. Our hope will be rekindled because we will know we are in God’s hands. Our joy will bubble up like a fountain, because God is good and we will know he’s good to us.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s can be difficult times for some. Grief is more sharply felt, we miss family and friends separated by distance. Those struggling financially can feel the limits more painfully. We need to care for and support those struggling with this season with our words, prayers and perhaps a hug.
And we need to practice giving thanks. Why wait to the last minute. Now is the time to Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love endures forever.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.