Isn’t it refreshing to be in the midst of a season that encourages us to stop and count our blessings? I’m so thankful that Thanksgiving is not a gift-giving holiday in the traditional sense. That will be upon us soon enough! But before another turn of the calendar pages, our thoughts can linger like a glorious sunset over the blessings that, lovingly woven together by the Master Craftsman, create the multicolored fabric of our lives.
There is something inherently wonderful in saying “thank you”. It lifts both giver and receiver a little Heaven-ward. And who couldn’t use a few (or many) such lifts throughout the day? Some days, however, we mere humans are hard-pressed to find anything at all for which to be thankful. We may feel irritable, depressed, anxious, disappointed, angry…anything but the gratitude that would be a healing balm for our sore hearts.
Last weekend, while staying at a cabin with some wonderful friends, I watched my children building a fire. They have learned a few things in that department and have surpassed my wealth of knowledge on the subject, which could be summed up: 1. Stick a Firestarter log in the fireplace, and 2. Turn on the gas. But that was BEFORE last week – I know MUCH more now. 🙂 Mainly, that you have to start with little stuff, and you have to feed what you want to grow.
Somehow, that applies to cultivating a “Thanksgiving Every Day” mentality as well.
Thank you, Lord, that I have eyes to watch my children play, to see the sun shining on red hair, to watch when they think no one is looking and catch them giggling together.
Thank you, Lord, that I have ears to hear the birds in the trees, the laughter of friends, the kind voice of a loving husband.
See the smoke curling up out of the fire ring? We must carefully blow on the glowing sparks…
Thank you, Lord, for a weekend carved out of the busyness of life and a chance to reconnect with nature and people I love.
A tiny flame! Time to feed the baby fire…
Thank you, Lord, that I was able to get myself out of bed today, to dress, and to walk everywhere I wanted to go.
Now the small sticks have caught!
Thank you, Lord, for the incredible patience you show me on a daily basis, for the kindness you shower on me, and for the evidence of your hand in my life.
The merry crackling cheers the night air around us, and we are warmed by the glow. So it is with gratitude…it warms, it cheers, it is contagious.
How can we feed the spirit of thanksgiving in our hearts? Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in all circumstances…”
We feed the fire, and then it grows. We give thanks, and the spirit of thankfulness grows. It might take a little practice, but it comes with a money-back guarantee! The end of the verse reads “…for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” He wants us to have the ability to give thanks in every circumstance – yes, even that one. So He will be delighted to help us get there! Why does He want us to be thankful in every crummy circumstance? Because He wants to hear people saying “Thank you” to Him 8 billion times per day? I think not. As a Father, He knows we are the happiest when we are grateful. He also knows we are going to encounter a lot of unpleasantness down here. Thanksgiving (not the turkey and dressing kind) can shield our hearts from the corrosion of the world.
There’s a three-part harmony going on in that verse. The entire verse reads:
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
The pieces fall into place when we link being joyful, remaining in constant communication with the Father, and perpetual thanksgiving. Remove one from the equation, and it no longer works. But all together, it’s a circle that keeps going. We are joyful when we are thankful and are in communion with Him, and on and on and on. It’s His heart for you and me – thanksgiving every day. It can transform “one of THOSE days” into a victory.
So when the last of the leftover turkey is gone, the fall decor is being put away and the Christmas boxes are coming down from the attic, let’s remember to feed our fires and keep them going.
If we do, we can have Thanksgiving every day, all year long.
With a thankful heart,