“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:1 New Living Translation).
As I look out the window there is a light blanket of fluffy whiteness on the ground. With the coming of the snow, things began to feel like Thanksgiving time. Enjoying the meteorological décor, I felt the stirrings of youthful holiday nostalgia. Memories of family gatherings, days off from school, favorite holiday dishes, and putting up the Christmas tree rose to prominence in my thoughts. And it dawned on me, I am thankful for the holiday memories of Thanksgiving. I am thankful for those reminiscences because they were good, and those people and experiences shaped me and that influence travels through time with me.
Psalm 118:1 enjoins us to Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! Thankfulness, it seems, rises from the rich foundation of relationships and beneficences. Thankfulness is a response to a rich, loving, kind, and blessed relationship. Thankfulness is the remembrance and celebration of being in a blessed relationship with God. Thanksgiving is wording that thankfulness into expressions of love; the giving part is love shared with the One who blessed us.
God deserves to receive our thanksgiving because He is both good and continues to bless our relationship with His love. Consider this deeply. God, that being whom no greater can be imagined, in His awesome splendor, unlimited power, and incalculable glory faithfully and perpetually offers His love to each one of us in all our finitude and imperfection. In His goodness, He cares for our needs, knows us intimately, and loves us unconditionally. More than this, God makes all things work for the good of them that love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). This means that what someone might do that was meant to harm us will instead ultimately be reworked into a blessing because God loves us. Even when we suffer, we can offer thanksgiving to God because our suffering is being used by God to produce an incredible weight of glory that will endure forever. (Romans 8:18).
So often, if asked what we are thankful for, we think of blessings from the past, but with God, we can be thankful for what is happening right now even though we lack the perception to know how all the details will work out. And we can thank God for what He has promised to do in our future because God is good; He did not lie and has the power and faithfulness to keep His promises. In His presence, we can even experience the glorious fragrance of heaven’s bliss in a fashion like how we waft the delightful aromas of the still-cooking feast of Thanksgiving Day. Where God is enjoyed, the porch of heaven beckons.
May the Lord be with you and yours as you celebrate Thanksgiving Day.
Contact Pastor Lamb at firstname.lastname@example.org.