In case you didn’t notice, Thanksgiving is coming up this week. Tom and I are “hosting” Thanksgiving this year. Having one brother and one sister, the three families rotate who is hosting Thanksgiving. The last time Tom and I hosted, John and Jackie got the honors at their house. But this year they are going to be in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving, so Tom and I are hosting using my parents’ house. Thirteen people in the RV would be a little crowded. So, on Thursday, we will gather and say “thank you” to God for all God’s gifts and blessings.
We are so blessed. I’m pretty sure you are too. No matter what troubles we face or how difficult life may seem at times, we are always able to rely on a good God who loves us. What are you saying “thank you” for today?
We often thank God for the people in our lives. You remember to say thank you for children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. We thank God for parents, brothers, sisters, and for our spouses. God gives us friends that support us and see us through the hard times. You thank God for people who are examples to us (good and bad).
We also say thank you to God for material blessings. You thank God for enough money to pay the bills, for a warm house, for a job, for a car that runs. We should thank God for our country. I know I haven’t been feeling as grateful as I should the last year in this area. But we still have basic freedoms, including the freedom to disagree with others.
Have you said thank you to God for your communities? For clubs, churches, neighborhoods. For places to gather and people that expand our horizons. Are you thankful for health, for people who bring love and laughter, or for times of quietness and solitude?
Dr. Robert Emmons has spent a lifetime doing research on gratitude. He found that people who keep a gratitude journal – where they write down what they are thankful for – generally feel more optimistic and confident than people who don’t. He also found that people who keep a gratitude journal sleep better at night, get better grades in school, exercise more regularly, and make better progress toward personal goals. A little bit of “thank you” can lead to big changes in our lives!
I recently read a sign outside a church that said “Only humble people say thank you.” After thinking about it for a while, I agree. In order to express thankfulness, we have to admit that someone else has done something for us. Humility allows us to express our thankfulness for the ways that others help us in our times of need.
During this week of Thanksgiving, take time to humbly thank God for all that God has done in your life. Thank God for who God is and how he has guided you over the years. Thank God for all his gifts and blessings.
Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.