A Bountiful Feast of Thanksgiving
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting,
and his truth endures to all generations”
Psalms 100: 4 – 5 (NKJV)
Thanksgiving is often thought of as a warm, happy, joyful, wonderful season and time of the year to be enjoyed by all. Thanksgiving is frequently filled with preoccupations with travel, turkey dinners with all the fixings, football, shopping and so forth. Some might look forward to the big turkey meal or the big games. Though most people look forward to getting together with friends and visiting or catching up with family. If an individual is of a Martha personality they could be preoccupied with all the hustle and bustle of the preparations and such. Although the true meaning and purpose of Thanksgiving is to ponder ones blessings and all that one has to be thankful for.
Thanksgiving is the time of year that it’s a simple and easy thing to ponder on things we are thankful for. We find ourselves surrounded by our family, friends and loved ones sharing in and celebrating the bountiful season of thanksgiving, remember and counting our blessings. Often we are celebrating this spirit of Thanksgiving with a bountiful feast shared with friends and family. It is quite common for people and families to have a tradition of each person going around saying what they might be thankful for. One could be thankful for friends, family, their life and health, their homes, the food and clothing they have, their jobs and their freedom and faith. Also often as believers we are thankful for God’s truth, Word, power, grace, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, love, mercy, redemption, forgiveness, protection, provision, and salvation.
As I ponder the true purpose and spirit of Thanksgiving I can’t help but wonder, as believers even more so, should the spirit of Thanksgiving go beyond just the yearly November holiday? We as children and creations of our Father God were created for the purpose of offering praise and worship to a most worthy Father and Creator. The very idea and act of praise and worship is the offering or giving of grateful homage, gratitude or thanksgiving in words or song as an act of worship. We as believers are called to worship and offer praise. We are to bow in giving worship, we are to honor our God with our lips filled with praise and lift our voices with song and we are to have hearts filled with worship and thanksgiving. The act of thanksgiving as a fundamental part of our praise and worship of our Father God is required. Although as His children and followers we should choose, desire and yearn to freely and willingly offer our praise, worship and thanksgiving.
We are to be thankful in all things and all season. We can give thanks for the simplest and the greatest of things in just as much in the big as in the small things. Be thankful for the beauty of His creation such a beautiful day of blue skies and sunshine as a reminder of His goodness. When we see a rainbow following a rain and thunder storm this is a reminder of promise of God’s love, provision and protection. A walk trough the grassy meadows and by a brook of calming serene water to remind us of his quite calming voice. Also on the beach with the sand in our toes with the sound of the ocean, with the wind at our back and through our hair with the smell of the sea to remind us of the immeasurable and endless depth of His love for us. As we enjoy a majestic mountain view to remind us of his power, majesty and strength. “She thanks Jesus for the daisies and the roses in no simple language” as Jars Clays said in their 1995 song “A love song for the Savior. The praising of God for the small things is no simple language. I have to wonder if that is so because somehow even though we are called to and desire to give our thanks it could never ever quite give justice to and for God is beyond all description. All the words in the world written in ink and on a scroll of paper would not be enough because even expressing our thanks till the end of time for eternity we would still run out of ink, paper and words of thanksgiving, praise and worship. Moreover the no simple language of praising and worshiping our Father Lord God becomes deeper, truer, and earnest in the those difficult times of struggle, trails and tribulations and in the depths of the valleys of much sorrow, in the season of grief, loss, pain, betrayal, heartache and heartbreak. These are the hardest times to keep a heart of praise and worship and a spirit of thanksgiving while walking in the deserts of life. Even more so during such times as the depths of the shadow and valleys that we are to hold steadfast in our praise and worship for it is in these times some of God’s greatest blessing although maybe unseen come to us and teach us lessons, draw us near to Him and show us that He will sustain us and gives the greatest of these things.
Even so we praise our Lord God by offering our thanksgiving for His truth, light, faithfulness, goodness, kindness, love, hope, mercy, grace, redemption, healing touch such as for the blind, and of broken hearts and lives, help to the lonely and hopeless, for his protection, provision, forgiveness, unconditional, everlasting eternal love. May we always remember the spirit of Thanksgiving. May we always maintain a constant spirit of praise and worship. May we always have overflowing cups of thanksgiving. May we always have hearts that are happy, thankful and filled with endless gratitude and praise for Our Lord God. For we enter into His Courts with Gladness and thanksgiving.