“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His loving kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100, 4 – 5
It is great to live in a nation that has an official day for giving thanks. But the act of thanksgiving was originally God’s idea. The above verses in the Book of Psalms make this certain.
Here in America, we have a long tradition of thanksgiving. It began in 1621 when the first settlers declared a day of thanksgiving in gratitude to God for His bountiful provision of the fall harvest. Then during George Washington’s first year as president, he recognized a day of thanksgiving for the nation. Our current Thanksgiving holiday became official in 1863 during President Lincoln’s tenure.
Now this is the season of thankfulness, a time to count our blessings and praise God—a time to be thankful. It’s November. Air is getting cooler, leaves turning to the brilliance of autumn colors, and our thoughts shift to the fast approaching holiday—Thanksgiving, a time to give thanks to God. Giving thanks increases love in your heart. Faith and love constitute the ‘character of a Christian—faith receives, love gives. Faith brings us to God; love brings us to one another.
On Thanksgiving Day hundreds of people offer thanks to God. Thankfulness is a choice we make every day. If it is lacking in our lives, we must decide to change. If we will start recognizing and acknowledging God’s wonderful blessings and ask Him to give us a grateful heart, he will begin transforming our lives. Then as we live more in step with Christ, his goodness, love, kindness, and generosity will flow through us until we are overflowing with gratitude.
Thanksgiving should be a daily event, not just a proclamation. The act of giving thanks should be part of our lives 365 days a year. Realize that no matter where you are now, what your position, what you have or have not, you DO have something for which to be thankful. Make thanksgiving a part of your life and you will find your attitude toward life will change to become a positive, loving and humble person.
Thanksgiving is for “all creatures, great and small”. At this time we are thankful for the creation of all the non-human creatures that enhance our lives. Offer recognition for “all creatures great and small” that have so much wisdom, loyalty and love to offer. A true Blessing!
May God bless you and your family this Thanksgiving with His kindest blessings. May He light your paths with hope, comfort you with His peace, and fill your hearts with grateful praise.
Margaret Brackett is from Newberry. Her columns appear weekly in The Newberry Observer.