Thanks for God’s Love and WondersDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
In two days, residents of the United States will stop as a nation for a day of thanksgiving. At least, that’s the idea. (For a brief history of Thanksgiving, see this item from my website.) But, for many of us, Thanksgiving Day is filled with activities besides pausing to give thanks to God. Some spend the better part of the day cooking. Others spend the better part of the day eating what has been cooked. Millions of Americans fill Thanksgiving Day with television watching, beginning with the Macy’s Parade in New York City before a segue into football. When you add travel and gathering with relatives, Thanksgiving Day can become crowded with everything but giving thanks to the Lord. Sometimes all God gets from us is a short prayer before we dig into the turkey.
I’m not really complaining about our Thanksgiving Day traditions. I love a turkey dinner with pumpkin pie more than just about anyone I know. But I also think it’s good to take time for intentional, extended thanksgiving to God. God deserves it. And our souls need it. Thus, when I was pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church, I encouraged folks to recognize a season of thanksgiving, rather than just a day. I’d encourage you to do the same. My guess is that you might have more time to pause for genuine thanksgiving today or tomorrow, rather than on Thursday.
Psalm 107 encourages us to be grateful right from verse 1: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” The rest of the psalm elaborates on God’s goodness with specific examples. For example, verses 4-7 depict the Lord as rescuing those who were lost, bringing them to a place of safety. Verse 8 sums up: “Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.” This verse serves as a refrain throughout Psalm 107, as it is repeated three more times (107:15, 21, 31).
When we stop to consider God’s love for us and how that love has been expressed in the wonderful things he has done for us, we will naturally offer thanks and praise to God. So, may I encourage you to begin your thanksgiving today. Think of God’s love for you and his goodness in your life, and give thanks!
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions that help you to offer thanks to God? When, in the next couple of days, could you set aside an hour for intentional thanksgiving? PRAYER: Gracious God, I am thankful that my country sets aside a whole day for thanksgiving. But I am aware of how easy it is to fill this day with so many other things besides giving thanks to you. Forgive me, Lord, when my Thanksgiving has very little thanks in it.
Help me, I pray, to set aside time for gratitude. May I use the occasion of this national holiday as a chance for remembering your goodness to me and thanking you for it. Indeed, Lord, you have done so many wonderful things for me. May I give you the gratitude that you deserve, and the thanks that thank my heart needs to be healthy and whole. Amen.