This is the time of the year when my friends and I get together to celebrate Thanksgiving. No, I am not American. But our team began celebrating Thanksgiving years ago for the sake of our American friends, and it has become a tradition-and a joy!
We get together in a beautifully decorated house for a meal and a time of fun and celebration. Everyone brings food, generally homemade, which steams invitingly. The room is decorated with bronzed leaves, warm colours and glowing candles. We welcome each other with love and laughter.
We smile at each other over the flickering candles and loaded table, and take turns to talk about the things we are thankful for. It helps you to realise how much you have.
Even if you don’t have everything you think you want, it helps you to realise how very rich you are: how very good God has been to you. It fills you with contentment, and joy.
Because, when you notice some of the things He has done for you, you begin to realise how blessed you are.
My friend and I talked the other day about gratitude: about being thankful for what you have right now. Someone in Syria, for example, would probably give anything just for somewhere safe to live… Enough food… Freedom. I have those in abundance.
Most of all, I have Christ. The deep thirst of my soul has been satisfied. When I am in need, I know where to go. He always meets me with His help. He has given me forgiveness, and eternal hope.
I was talking to someone the other day about what it would be like to earn lots of money- and I realised I’m glad I don’t (although I guess we all have so much compared to many people who struggle through this world). Actually, I feel so rich already, with the blessings He has showered upon me.
A loving family. So many caring friends. More than one church family. Life and freedom and, most of all, knowing Christ. Food and shelter and creativity… And so, so much more. I am so very, very blessed.
Sometimes, our team take time in prayer meetings to write down ten things we are thankful for. It can be big things or little things. It can be anything. There have been times when I didn’t feel like doing it- when I felt sad and it felt too hard to rejoice. But I had to write my list anyway… And it encouraged me so much. How easily I forget the things He has done for me… the things He blesses me with!
It helps me realise that I am a lot richer than I think I am.
It is so good to take a moment to stop, reflect and say ‘thank You’. To take a moment to breathe right where I am, look around and pick out something I can be grateful for.
He’s been speaking to me recently from Psalm 23. Those words: ‘I shall not want.’ (Ps 23:1b) Ever. He will always provide for His child who belongs to Christ. I have seen it the past. When I stop to look, I realise I see it now. And I will see it tomorrow, and every day after that until He calls me home.
It helps me realise that He is trustworthy for the future, too.
I don’t know if you celebrate Thanksgiving. If you don’t, I recommend it (even if, like me, you’re not American!). It’s lots of fun! But, whether you do or not, Happy Thanksgiving!
Either way, I recommend making your own list of things to be thankful for, and taking a moment to say ‘thank You’ to God.
I think it will make you smile. 🙂
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.