My mother used to say that the older you get, the faster time passes by. I didn’t understand what she was talking about back then when I was a young girl, then a young woman, but now that I’m one of the elders, I see it all too well.
My youngest grandchild celebrated his fifth birthday last week. How can that be? How can his older brother be almost 9, and his older sister 11 going on 16? Wasn’t it just yesterday that their mom was 5?
Yes, the years are rolling right along on a swift current. The New Year was just yesterday … I blinked twice, and now Thanksgiving is here. I’m not complaining, though. Thanksgiving Day has always been my favorite holiday, a reminder to me that even in the upheavals we face in this life, God sends his blessings. It’s a reminder that, as a Christian, I am not told to be thankful when I “feel like it.” I am told to give thanks to my Creator in all things.
In Philippians 4:6-8, for example: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.”
This is much easier to quote than to do. How can I be thankful when a beloved family member or friend is ill? When friends see the end of a marriage, the death of a loved one, the loss of a home? When the paycheck doesn’t stretch far enough to pay the bills? When the depression I have fought for years comes back with a vengeance? The Bible doesn’t tell me not to mourn in these circumstances; the Bible tells me to talk to my Father about it with a heart full of thanks that He understands, He listens and He will provide whatever it takes for our good and his glory.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Notice again that we are told to rejoice, to pray, to give thanks in everything. It’s like a stool; if one of those legs is gone, the stool is going to topple.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:15.
See the progression? Peace and thanksgiving go hand in hand.
Thanksgiving. It’s much more than a good meal with family and friends on one day of the year. It’s an attitude, a lifestyle, which we should be following consistently. Thanksgiving Day brings all that into focus again, and the gift of peace which passes all understanding comes to us in the process.
Happy Thanksgiving daily, everyone.