Today is Thanksgiving. Like most people over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about the things I’m thankful for. It’s easy to be thankful for the things we have, family and friends that are always there, or there when you really need them, good health, and happiness. But what do we do when things aren’t going so well, or worse when things are really bad. Bad things happen to people and sometime bad things happen to us because we bring them on ourselves.
How are we to be thankful for these things, or should we?
To be thankful is not just a state of mind, though many would have us believe that we can simply accept what we have and that is enough. That’s not being thankful. To be thankful there must be a person who is giving and a person who is receiving a gift. The receiver is showing appreciation for the sacrifice of the giver. The whole concept of thanksgiving requires at least two people.
One of my favorite television shows is Alaska The Last Frontier. It’s a show about the Kilcher family on their homestead in Alaska. Every year at Thanksgiving they gather together as a family and celebrate a meal. This year they also took the time to give back something to someone who had gone out of their way to help them this past year. It was a way of giving thanks through action, not just words.
But should we say thank you to the person that cut us off on the highway, a person who steals from us, assaults us, or batters us? Should we say thank you to a person who hates us? I’ve seen many when good came out of the bad that someone else did or experienced. Should we thank the person who harmed us for doing bad so that something good could come about? I believe the answer is no. BUT, we can and should thank the one who took a bad situation and turned it around for us.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. — Ro 8:28
The giver of all good things ultimately is God we should be thankful to him. But what is the gift and why should we be thankful for it?
Many Christians will tell you the gift is Jesus and that we should be thankful for God’s son whom he sacrificed for us so that we could have life. They would be right, but there’s something that I realized this past week that I’d never thought to be thankful for.
As I said earlier, it’s easy to be thankful for the things in our lives or even the people. We can even be thankful for the air that we breeth and the opportunities that we’re presented. We can and should be thankful for Jesus’ gift to us. But stop for a minute and examine things from God’s point of view.
He sit’s above all time, e.g. eternity. He knows what’s happened, what is happening and what is going to happen for all time. He has positioned everything in a place that works things out for our good according to his purpose. God has plans for us that go far beyond what we’ve already experience and are experiencing here and now. His plans go beyond next week, next year, and far beyond our retirement from this world. He has gifts in store for us that are unfathomable by our minds today.
When we say thank you to Jesus, it’s his sacrifice that made this possible for us, for us to have an ETERNAL life with all the wonders that come with it.
So for this Thanksgiving, I’m thanking Him for the gift of life, his Providence over us, and for all the things that in eternity he has already done, but that I have yet to experience. I’ll take the bad with the good, because he, in his wisdom, has already handled all the bad stuff for me.
You only have one moment to change your future. That moment is now! But, God has already set your path and he’s worked out the direction you should go. Will you follow him there?