Good morning all-
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving. I have to admit it's been around the tradition and not my thought life. Thanksgiving was a time of great harvest and immense joy. The Indians had helped the Pilgrims grow food for the winter, which meant imminent survival. I can only imagine the feeling of joy and thanksgiving. It was a time that Christians and non-Christians came together for the good of man and it must have been wonderful!
Fast forward to 2014 when food is bought at grocery stores, most men wouldn't know how to farm and many ladies can't cook. For some, turkeys will be bought already prepared, we can actually buy the whole dinner if we want. And yet, thousands of miles away, children are starving, homelessness is everywhere and for many today will not represent Thanksgiving. I get caught up in the dinner, the family and the preparation. My mom loved this time of year and made it fancy and special, so when I found out my husband wanted to celebrate with his family this year, I struggled with sadness and loss. The sadness I don't really get but the loss I have a clue into. This is the time that reminds me of my mom the most and somehow I felt like I wouldn't feel her if I didn't continue her legacy. Strange enough, I am repenting of that because God is the reason for Thanksgiving and not just today. We should be on bended knee proclaiming Him as mighty and worthy of praise, instead of worrying that I somehow am letting my parents down.
The years are going quick and I try to hold onto each one tight. The problem with doing that is that I don't stay in the moment. What was meant traditionally as Thanksgiving has been lost in material things. Those people were thanking God for the Indians that taught them how to plant and store food. Without their help, the Pilgrims would have starved. God provided their manna for the winter and continues to provide for us today. We are so used to the abundance in America, maybe it's time we scaled back and thought about the meaning behind why we celebrate and for whom we are celebrating.
My thought life has also gone to forgiveness. During this time, I need to be forgiving and thankful. Christ has done a lot for me and although I am the captain of my ship, He steers it if I ask. So my heart is asking the Lord to remind me of my need for Him, convict me of my sins, and help me be thankful for every thing He has provided for me. So even though I am struggling with my mind, I know that God is near. He is prompting me to wash away tradition, respect my husband's wishes, and move toward Him with thanksgiving in my heart. So at 5:49 am, I proclaim thanksgiving in my heart for my King and Savior. I am thanking Him for everything I have and for everyone that has entered my life. But most of all, I am thanking Him for dying on a cross and providing everlasting life. My heart is full this morning as I confess my sin and as I look toward the God of my heart.
I pray that many will have food this season and that all over the world people will come together putting Christ first before traditions and material things. I hope that thousands hear the message of His mercy and grace. I also am praying that we will pray that those that don't know Him will proclaim Him as Lord and Savior this season. I know that holidays can be difficult, especially if you have lost someone. In the last seven years, my thoughts have often gone to those that I have lost. In the same moment, my thoughts have gone to what they left behind, love. The one thing I have never lacked was love and if I should be thankful for anything this year it should be that I have been loved and know how to love. My Father is my guide to knowing and loving you too. If you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, take a moment every day to thank the Lord for this life and if you are celebrating today, don't forget to have thanksgiving in your heart tomorrow.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— (1 Timothy 2:1 NIV)
My prayer today:
O, Lord, we come today with thanksgiving in our heart with prayers for the unbeliever. Please take this day and make it a day of you, celebrating Your mighty power in this sinful world. We ask forgiveness for our selfishness and need to be celebrated. Today with our families should be a day of prayer and thanksgiving in our hearts for the rainbows you provide, for the water we drink, for the manna we eat and for everlasting life. We need You to be in our lives, to light our path and to help us remember that You are the reason for every moment of life. Forgive us our sins today Lord and help us love the lost.