Shortly after Halloween, most people zoom to Christmas shopping and overlook the Thanksgiving holiday. As soon as the pumpkins, ghosts, spider-webs, and artificial cemeteries come down, Christmas trees and lights go up. Christmas music is played in the malls. Christmas decorations are put up everywhere. Thanksgiving has almost become the forgotten holiday. And, even when people are thinking about thanksgiving, they are thinking about what kind of deals they are going to find on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Some even camp out in the cold days and weeks before just to be the first in line. Our materialistic society prides itself on owning the most toys and gadgets. To others, Thanksgiving has become synonymous with Turkeys and stuffing, and pumpkin pies, and yup – gaining weight. Sadly, Thanksgiving day has been replaced with “Turkey Day.” The average American gains between 5 and 10 pounds during the holiday season. The average household spending on Thanksgiving dinner will cost $54.18. The total number of Turkeys that are consumed on Thanksgiving Day equals to 51 million. And the total U.S. spending on Thanksgiving dinner food is $2.375 billion.
Giving thanks was part of the daily lives of those who came to this country and founded it. Successful harvests, a birth of a child, surviving cold winters, evading catching a disease, were all reasons to be thankful to their creator. Today, we take these things for granted and have truly forgotten our roots. And I don’t only mean our American roots. All cultures around the planet have reasons to give thanks to God the father through Jesus Christ. Thanksgiving was not an American tradition. It is a Biblical command. It goes way back. The Pilgrims knew where their daily sustenance came from. They were doing that which was already taught in the scriptures. They were well versed in the Bible and knew what God’s will was for them – and that is to give thanks always. The Pilgrims were obedient to what the Bible had to say about thanksgiving and they demonstrated it in their daily walk.
This Thursday when we celebrate Thanksgiving, let us remember the strong examples the Pilgrims set for us, but also remember the source of why the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving – namely the Bible. God commands his creatures to thank him (Psalm 106:1; 107:1; 118:1; 1 Chronicles 16:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). If we have the right attitude, we would want to praise God because we know that he provides everything for us on a daily basis. Without being grateful, we become arrogant and self-centered, thinking that we have brought our own success by our own strength and deny God his glory which he deserves. First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I want to challenge you this Thanksgiving to give thanks for 10 things, instead of just one thing. Most people feel good after Thanksgiving dinner as each family member takes turns to give thanks for one thing throughout the entire year. I feel that is a subterfuge. Break that mold, and be the first to give thanks for at least 10 things. There is more we should be thankful for than just 10 things, but this is just the beginning. Here is my list of at least 10 things that I am thankful for this year:
- My beautiful wife
- My four year old daughter
- My six month old son who is still in the womb
- Jesus Christ for dying on the cross to save me from my sins and securing a place for me in heaven
- My job even though it is only temporary
- God provided for my family (food, clothing, shelter) even when I was unemployed
- My extended family will be gathered together for Thanksgiving
- By the grace of God, I am healthy and can move around. Not bound to a bed. God saved me from a major health incident in the early part of this year.
- As I grow spiritually in trusting God, this blog was born so that others could be encouraged and God would be glorified
- Freedom to express myself in my beliefs. (Thanks to all the soldiers and their families for their sacrifice to allowing us to keep our freedoms).
God receives all the praise and honor and glory forever and ever!!!! …Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 4: 8-11