Tomorrow is Thanksgiving - and if you’ve known me for any length of time, then I’m sure you’ve heard me say that this is my favorite holiday of the year. That’s because Thanksgiving combines three of my all-time favorite things - family, food, and football. But I also love Thanksgiving because it’s a chance to stop all of the activity of life, and take time to be thankful - to intentionally focus on all that God has done throughout the year.
However, I also sort of dread Thanksgiving - because when I do take the time to be thankful on this one day, I’m reminded how “unthankful” I can be the other 364 days of the year. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not that I’m actively UN-grateful throughout the year. It’s just that I tend to go through the year so focused on what God hasn’t done yet, or on what I’m waiting for Him to do, that I don’t take time every day to be thankful for what He HAS done.
That’s why, every year when Thanksgiving rolls around, I’m confronted with the reality of how much God does for me each and every day that I often don’t express thanks for, or even notice. I’m reminded once again that not only do I want to be a person of thankfulness, it’s what God wants for me as well.
Psalm 100:4 tells us to: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. Then in Psalm 50:14 we read: “Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and in this way, keep the vows you made to the Most High.” And in Colossians 3:17 we’re told that: “Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
Those are just 3 of the over 180 verses in the Bible that challenge us to live lives of daily gratitude. God doesn’t want His children to be thankful just one day a year. Instead, He wants us to be thankful each and every day of the year - no matter what’s going on in our lives. In other words, for Christians, Thanksgiving shouldn’t be the one day a year that we stop what we’re doing and give thanks. Instead, it should be a day that we set aside to celebrate the completion of a year of us giving thanks to God for all that He’s providing, and all that He’s doing.
Actually, in a lot of ways Thanksgiving should be like New Year’s Eve for Christians; a day where we celebrate coming to the end of one year of giving thanks, and then prepare ourselves for the next year of giving thanks. And just like New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving is a great time for us to make a resolution to be better at being more thankful - and to be better at expressing our thankfulness next year than we were this year.
So today - as we work to get all the errands and preparations done for our Thanksgiving celebration - join me in making the resolution to not let our thankfulness end tomorrow. Let’s commit to being people who daily give thanks for all that God is doing for us - even when life gets hard, and even when we don’t know what the future holds. Let’s commit to being people who offer our thanksgiving to God as our sacrifice of praise - each and every day.