So today is Thanksgiving Day in the USA. And being British all I really know about it is what I have learnt from watching repeats of Friends. But it seems to be all about eating turkey and watching football, both things I enjoy doing, so Thanksgiving is a bandwagon I’m going to jump on.
Because at the heart of it all it is about taking time to reflect and remember all we have to be thankful for. And although often we take so much for granted there is much we can be thankful for. I don’t know about you, but often when I pray I keep asking God for more and more, rather than being grateful for what He has already given me. Everything we have – our life, our family, our friends, our possessions, everything comes from Him. he gives us all that we need, and often so much more. He holds nothing back from us, not even His own Son, who came to die for us. We have much to be thankful for!
So what does it mean to be truely thankful? Being thankful means being content with what you have, not constantly looking for more, bigger, better things. Paul puts it like this: “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little” (Philippians 4:11-12). That is the sort of attitude we should have – thankful in whatever situation, for he knew that no matter what, He was loved by God, and at the end of the day that is all that really matters. Yeah fillet steak and a comfy bed is nice, but Jesus and nothing else is sufficient.
Being truely thankful also means expressing our thanks, and letting people know not just that we are thankful, but why we are so thankful. On one level that means taking the time to say thanks to the guy who wrote a book that helped you in your walk with God, the band that sang that song that you really relate to or the friend who helped you through a rough spell, letting them know you appreciate what they do. But on another level, it means letting people know you are thankful for all God has provided for you so that ultimately, He gets the glory, not you.
So here’s the response. Firstly, what are you thankful for today? Take time to actually thank God for some of the stuff you usually take for granted. Get in touch with friends and just thank them for being a good friend. Go out of your way to thank people you interact with today. Let’s be truely grateful that Jesus died for us, and let’s stop asking God to give us more on top of that.