Ok, so most of us are planning a family gathering on Thanksgiving. Some of you are most likely wondering if there is any way to avoid the tension and stress as families unite, cooks pack the kitchen, and people arrive bearing side items and desserts.
I’m honestly not bothered by the chaos. However, there are some in my family who find getting the food ready on time, carving the turkey or getting the green beans just right as a stressor. (I just avoid the kitchen.)
This year my family has experienced a faith building situation as my Dad is going through treatment for cancer. Yuck. That’s not something to look forward to during the Thanksgiving Holidays. So Dad having to go thru radiation treatment over an 8 week period has changed some of this years family traditions. Some of my family, not to name names but they are the only 2 nephews, will certainly miss the crockpot macaroni and cheese. But the thing that I’m considering is how a change in focus from all the food and preparation reminded me of what I am thankful for and Who I am Thanking.
Normally after a big meal and a few too many pieces of pie, we wipe our mouths and say, thanks to the cook or cooks. “That was great, thanks.” I’m thinking the change will be good and help us think about how precious it is to be together.
This year, we’re planning on having sandwiches, stuff all us children can bring in, so that Mom doesn’t have to do much more than make iced tea. I’m hoping the lack of a table full of food helps us consider that it isn’t just about thanking the cooks but being thankful period.
Not only do we need to be grateful, we need to remember who we are Thanking. America has a long tradition of thanksgiving. As with many holidays, Thanksgiving has turned into another way to make us spend more on groceries or food channels to show 10 new ways to use left over turkey. However, the whole point was that we would take time to stop and gather with the people we care about and talk about why we are thankful and to whom we are thankful.
George Washington proclaimed a day of thanksgiving on Oct 3, 1789 and pointed us to the fact that it is our duty to “acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.” 1
For it is not just the cooks and those who provided the food for our meal that we thank. It’s not just the Thanksgiving Dinner or the family that is gathered, our focus, as in all things, is to see that it is the hand of Almighty God, our Provider and Sustainer, the God of the Bible who has given us all things.
So this Thanksgiving – Remember who to Thank!
Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. “Now therefore, our God, We thank You And praise Your glorious name ..” … 1 Chron 29:12-13.
Enjoy the good gifts of God!
1 Timothy 4:4-5
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.