Posted by: Jo | October 16, 2015

Thanksgiving

 

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

(Psalm 100:4)

In Canada, Thanksgiving, is celebrated on the second Sunday inimage October during the beautiful Fall season of crisp invigorating air, swirling leaves of every colour and bright orange pumpkins decorating stores and door steps. Families gather together for the traditional roast turkey and pumpkin pie and for a time to stop and reflect, with gratitude, on their blessings. Being taught to remember to say thank you for gifts given and as a polite way of refusing with a “ no thank you” begins very early in life, so it was easy to see how one little girl was very confused watching her mother preparing for the Thanksgiving dinner and asked , “But who are we thanking?”

Who are we thanking?

Children in their innocence can ask the most, simple yet the most profound questions and this one makes us all stop and evaluate to whom we direct our own thanksgiving. We may have all been guilty of saying without thinking, “Thank goodness I caught the train in time/ bought the right size/ had enough money in the bank” etc., not really addressing anybody in particular. We may attribute our good fortune to our own endeavours, coincidence, and good luck. The Psalmists looked at life in a very different way, seeing God’s hand in the everyday things of life;

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1)

Recognising God’s hand in our lives is an amazing way of remaining focused on what really matters in life and expressing our gratitude to him changes the whole way we look at our circumstances. I have discovered myself that while going through very difficult times the only way I can prevent being overwhelmed by them is to deliberately stop and find something to give thanks for;image

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

The secular world has tried to harness this sense of gratitude and use it as a form of therapy to maintain good emotional health, but the little girl’s question remains unanswered and the thankfulness has an emptiness.

Paul has a far better understanding of what true thankfulness means, and what is more important, knows what the result is;

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6 –7)

Many of the old hymns we sang as children had a simple but compelling message and this one I remember as summing up what true thankfulness means.

Counting Blessings

Count your blessings

Name them one by one

See what God hath done

Count your many blessings

Name them one by one

And it will surprise you what the Lord has done

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Responses

  1. And thank you God for Jo’s blog every week!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Jo.

    Like

  2. Another simple one my classes used to sing daily was–Thank You for giving me the morning, Thank You for every day that’s new, Thank You for I know my worries can be cast on You. Do you remember that one Jo?
    God bless and thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jo, your blog makes my day and my whole week, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person


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