Thank God at Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is approaching, and it’s my favorite holiday for a number of reasons: I am truly grateful for family, friends, health, living in a free country, material possessions, and all the other wonderful things not mentioned. Listing what’s obvious in my thanksgiving basket is not my purpose, however. A far greater priority deserves the spotlight on this special day…
We all know people who are rarely grateful. There is always something to complain about that’s not quite up to par. Likewise, we’ve also met people who have a gratefulness about them that bellows louder than a jet engine. All of us have probably exhibited a little from each of these extremes.
We also know there are library shelves too numerous to count that present books on good attitudes, positive thinking, and ways to make it as an optimist. While there are plenty of helpful points to be gleaned, may I suggest that we turn our attention to God’s good book? It was the Apostle Paul who said, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
How was he able to make such a claim? His admission was this: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
You see, Paul resided permanently in his personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Because of it, he was inherently thankful… no matter what.
To be consistently thankful, we too must recognize and honor a God that loves us in a personal way. It’s possible for anyone to follow the lead of Paul. All we need to do is find permanent contentment in Jesus Christ — the One who is forever ready, willing, and able to strengthen us by the power of His Holy Spirit.
As the 1700’s songwriter Thomas Ken wrote,
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
“Praise Him all creatures here below,
“Praise Him above ye heavenly host.
“Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
This Thanksgiving will be no less thankful for me, even though it will be much different than any I’ve ever experienced. Instead of participating in any traditional family gathering, I will be at the New England Baptist Hospital recovering from a knee replacement. I’m blessed to have such an awesome place to go and to have top notch medical people treat me. The on-site support and prayers of my wife, family, and friends play key to a fast recovery.
For what am I truly thankful? I’m thankful that God’s love affords me the choice to be thankful, no matter what!
Thank you, Lord, Jesus….and Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Sincerely, Steven J. Bouley, Fairhaven
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