5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
So, I'm sitting here in Panera writing a blog post, when really I should be writing my paper, but when inspiration strikes, it strikes, and I find myself wanting to write. Besides, this is an important post about thankfulness so I am just going to write and let the paper be for just a little while.
You might ask, what was it that inspired me to write today, a mountaintop experience, a particularly poignant verse from Scripture, a beautiful piece of artwork? Nope, it was none of the above. Rather it was a commercial, a radio commercial about Black Friday, or as it should more aptly be called, Black Thursday. That's what it's come to. Shopping on a day when we are supposed to be counting our many, many blessings.
See, as I was driving down the road, the commercial came on with the announcement that a local mall would be opening on Thursday night at 5 and I couldn't help but chuckle at the irony. We are putting aside our thankfulness earlier and earlier in favor of finding a good deal.
Don't get me wrong, I love Black Friday as much as the next person. (Well, actually I kind of hate it. I'm not much for crowds and hustle and bustle so really I've never found much appeal when it comes to Black Friday.) But, I really am not against finding a good deal. There's a lot of joy that comes from finding a good bargain and it makes sense to find ways to save during a financially taxing part of the year. I guess what I am against, is the fact that we're letting it overshadow what the day of Thankfulness is really about.
A few Thanksgivings ago, when I was spending the holiday at an aunt and uncle's I recall a prayer that my aunt uttered that day that has stuck with me over the years. It was simple and yet very profound. "Lord, teach us to love You, the Giver, more than we love the gifts you give us." Isn't that a beautiful thought, to be thankful for the Giver and not just the many many gifts he pours out into our lives.
And there are plenty of gifts that he pours into our lives. Blessing after blessing of daily bread and friendship, gifts and desires fulfilled, wants and needs taken care of. Day after day, so many things we take for granted, are laid at our feet without us really taking stock of a God whose mercies are new every morning.
This of all the months of the year, after an abundant harvest has been gathered, is a time to be thankful. But not just thankful for the gifts, more importantly, thankfulness for the Giver, the One who pours out blessings without keeping track. The one who gives ungrudgingly to a people that aren't always as grateful as we should be.
So in honor of Thanksgiving I've decided to write a list of things I'm grateful for that have to do with God. I hope it inspires you to make your own list of reasons you're thankful to our Good and Gracious Heavenly Father.
I'm thankful for:
A God whose mercies are new every morning.
A God who love me beyond measure.
A God who knows every thought and desire of my heart and willingly fulfills those desires in his own time and in his own good way.
A God who doesn't treat me as my sins deserve.
A God who is unfailingly patient with me and my many many shortcomings.
A God who doesn't hold grudges.
A God who looks out for the poor and weak and lowly.
A God who sacrificed everything to save me from my sins.
A God who guides and keeps me day by day.
I think you get the idea. Really, when I think about it, the list could go on and on. So I guess in this season of Thanksgiving, find a way to be grateful not just for the gifts but for the Giver himself. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!