Reasons for Thanksgiving

I’m sure everyone has already blogged about Thanksgiving…before the fact. We’ve read admonitions to be thankful. They are plentiful. Someone counted 138 passages in the Bible that deal with the subject of thanksgiving. There’s a great quote about thanksgiving that I can’t attribute to anyone in particular. It goes like this, “We don’t need more to be thankful for, we need more to be thankful.” There’s another ending that goes like this, “…we need to be more thankful.” It works either way.

You might wonder why I’m writing about this after Thanksgiving. Well, an acquaintance of mine emailed a brief comment on a verse in Deuteronomy that raised an interesting idea. The verse is Deuteronomy 8:10, “When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.” The context is Moses exposition of the law to the generation of Israelites that were facing the same challenges their parents faced. They failed. The present generation would succeed if they believed God and obeyed Him. Moses was attempting to encourage them toward success. The idea the verse suggests is to give thanks to God after His blessings are enjoyed. So, I thought I would wait until after Thanksgiving to write about my Thanksgiving. It was worth the wait.

The hutch, table, and chairs we used are from my parent’s home. They were the center of many a Thanksgiving meal. When I married, my wife and eventually our daughters joined at this table. When my parents died the furniture came to me and saw more Thanksgiving meals. They are now in our youngest daughter’s home.

My Dad said that our branch of the family tree was more like a twig than a branch. He was right. We’re still a small group. And once again we gathered around that table to celebrate Thanksgiving. But it isn’t just the meal I was thankful for. Life being what it is, it’s not often our twig gets together. We did yesterday, all seven of us (counting our son-in-law’s mother). While I watched and participated in the activities of the afternoon, it occurred to me just how blessed I was, how good God has been to me – a wonderful wife (for 42 years), two wonderful daughters, a really great son-in-law, and grandson. (Yes, our son-in-law’s mother is a nice lady, too. And that’s a blessing as well.) We snacked on appetizers, talked, laughed, and enjoyed our meal together. The ladies made and decorated gingerbread houses while we guys watched football. It was a really special day for me.

Moses was right. I have eaten and am full and I bless and thank the Lord for the good He has given to me.

As you reflect on your Thanksgiving, I pray that you, too, can bless and thank the Lord for what He has given to you.

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