Our family recently received a letter from our son who is serving his country as a Marine in Afghanistan.
Within the past month he has survived an I.E.D explosion, an attempted strike from a suicide bomber, and incoming mortars. Yet he expressed appreciation in his letter.
He wrote about how thankful he was for a cup of coffee, a conversation with a loved one, and even a rainy day.
I had just grumbled about our wet Washington weather earlier that morning and vowed not to again.
His gratefulness reminded me of the verse in Thessalonians 5:18:“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus in you.”
There are so many blessings we take for granted, as many as we have heartbeats. It is difficult to be thankful in all circumstances but it is possible.
When Jesus was with his disciples having the first communion, he blessed the bread, then gave thanks for the wine, which represented his blood.
Even though he was not glad to be going to the cross, he was thankful for His blood which would be a holy sacrifice bringing our redemption. He was thankful for God’s Will. He knew His Heavenly Father’s plan was, and is, and always will be, for our eternal best. Christ focused on the good to make the bad bearable.
Thankfulness always leads to giving, hence the term thanksgiving.
People who give thanks, thankfully give. Those who are grateful for their blessings, bless others. I feel privileged to have grown up in a family where my parents were examples of generous giving.
If you visited, you left with homemade jam or cookies or fresh veggies from the garden. Yet no matter how much they gave, there was always enough.
There is a great example in the Bible of this spiritual truth.
Jesus fed 5,000 miraculously from a young lad simply sharing his lunch. Just as astounding were the twelve baskets left over of food- exactly the number of disciples who had given their time and had distributed the food.
You can’t out give God. There will always be lots of leftovers. This Thanksgiving let us be thankful, give abundantly, and appreciate the lavish leftovers.