Thanksgiving – My Favorite Holiday

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. It’s one of the few holidays that hasn’t been commercialized. It’s simply a time when families get together and celebrate God’s goodness. If America’s first settlers could give thanks for their meager harvest after experiencing so much hardship and grief the previous year, we should be overwhelmed with gratitude and pause to give thanks to the giver of every good gift for our incredible abundance.

Hebrews 12:28 is paraphrased in The Living Bible, “Since we have a kingdom nothing can destroy, let us please God by serving him with thankful hearts…” When a child receives a special Christmas gift and enthusiastically responds, “Thanks, Mom and Dad! I really needed this!” the parents are gratified. Likewise, the Heavenly Father is pleased when His children serve him with thankful hearts.

Not long ago I had a conversation with a close acquaintance of Owsley Brown Frazier’s. Owsley Frazier was one of the wealthiest men in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and also one of the most generous. Frazier is said to have given more than a half-billion dollars to charity throughout his life.  This acquaintance was lamenting the fact that toward the end of Frazier’s life, Frazier was crippled up by arthritis. He was confined to a wheelchair and lived in constant pain.

I flippantly remarked, “I bet Owsley Frazier would have given up half his material possessions just to have his health back.”  The man immediately shook his head and responded, “No, I guarantee you he would have given up ALL of it just to be able to walk without pain.” When I walked away that day, I realized how rich I am to be in good health even though I’m over seventy years old.

Let’s open the eyes of our hearts this Thanksgiving and be grateful for the blessings we take for granted every day. Thank the Lord for good health, a warm house, a full closet, a soft bed, a packed freezer, a loving family, a free country, an alert mind, a dependable job, and so much more.

Most of all let’s give thanks for our wondrous Savior. Through His atoning death on the cross, Jesus has graciously provided us with the forgiveness of sins, the hope of eternal life and an ultimate purpose for living every day.

If you’re alone or struggling with discouragement this Thanksgiving season, meditate on the following passage of Scripture…and give thanks. “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).

God’s Word promises the best is yet to be! Because of Jesus Christ, we have the assurance that one day, God will wipe all tears from our eyes and there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain. We will reign with Christ forever in heaven. How good is that? This Thanksgiving season let’s exclaim with the Apostle Paul, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15).

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