WHO? WHAT? WHY?
As we enter the month set aside for giving thanks, there are several questions, I inevitably ask myself every season. Who, what and why? Who am I thankful to? What am I thankful for? And why am I thankful at all? It may sound silly to many of you, but it helps me keep a proper perspective of who is really in charge of my life and what’s going on. He keeps those ups and downs in check as well as the round and rounds straight. (A round and round is when things simply repeat themselves like making the same mistake over and over again.) One day in prayer God gave me this thought, “A thankful heart, is the best place to start!” To help me maintain a perspective on God’s power to change any situation I find myself in. As it sets my mind on the positive and puts everything in the context of solutions. I try to apply Colossians 4:2 (ESV), Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. It tunes my spirit to expecting God to show up and show out.
I’ll begin with “who” since it is at the top of my priority listings. Should a person not know to whom they’re thankful to, their what and why, really has no true substance (in this life)? Every good trait within them is turned inward to self, as their words and deeds are for their own personal pleasure. They’re usually imposters of joy and actors of goodwill as they hardly ever do anything that doesn’t bring the limelight on them. These are the people that never get beyond being thankful “for” and never grow to the level of thankful “to”. I have been to Thanksgiving celebrations with others who insist on everyone telling of something their thankful for. I myself have been guilty of this practice on occasion because I didn’t understand and don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad thing, it’s just not accurate. The “who” is the real reason Thanksgiving started as a celebration of provision and should continue in the same spirit today, giving thanks to God for His love, care, and provision. Edward Winslow, a Pilgrim chronicler shared in his early writings on Thanksgiving: “And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty." Psalm 91:14 (ESV), “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.
True thanksgiving should bring to the surface of our minds greater thoughts than that of full bellies, football, and afternoon naps. The last time I heard, the majority of this nation is considered spoiled! We want, what we want, and we want it now, to which we usually get it. Many don’t truly understand what being thankful is all about. They have reached the point of expecting and taking things for granted. The “what” is found in Acts 17:24-25 (ESV), 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. Everything I have, everything I am, and everything I desire, He gave me!
My “why” is short, sweet, cut and dried! My reason is found in 1 John 4:19 (ESV), We love because he first loved us. Everything I am, I am because He first loved me! He saw through the pain of my brokenness when I cried out to Him in anger and disbelief. He gave me the sight to see the “me” He created and convinced me I was not the lowlife I believed myself to be. He returned those things that would help me to follow Him and gave me peace over those that weren’t. I encourage all of you to do a Thanksgiving list of those possessions you are truly thankful for and then be amazed at God’s involvement in each. This should shed some light on “why” you are thankful to. Remember, even in our most agonizing times, Jesus is working, He is always working, and this is why we should be so thankful to and for Him! He is our all in all.
Lord, I pray we each grab hold of this scripture and carry it in our hearts choosing to be thankful, kind, and loving every day, to everyone, and not just for a day or a month. Help us to meditate on John 3:16 (ESV), “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Thank you, Jesus, that a thankful heart is giving, caring, and selfless which is the same heart you had when you became the eternal sacrifice for the sins of every believer. I repeat 1 John 4:19 (ESV), We love because he first loved us. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!