Thursday, November 23, 2017

Don't Miss This Thanks at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is upon us, and that means taking time to catalogue our blessings. Yet this activity isn’t only an appropriate seasonal one, it’s food for a solid Christian faith. Paul reminds us to continually have thanksgiving on our lips when making requests to God. The underlying implication is that there will always be things that we want God to do, but noticing what God has already done can give us hope for the future and reassurance right now.  
I remember the handprint turkeys my children used to make in preschool. As they cut them out, each of their fingers would form a feather on the turkey, and each feather would symbolize one thing that they were thankful for. I cherished them because they inspired me. I read things like “My Family,” “God,” and “Cake” on those little feathers.
This past Sunday, I was a Sunday school helper for grades 1-3. While the children didn’t make turkeys, they did something just as symbolic. A teacher drew a mountain, and the children filled it in with their prayers that they printed on slips of paper. I was particularly drawn to the “You are great, God, because…” section of the mountain. I asked the children, “When you think about your answers, think about what only God can do in your life.” They wrote things like:

“You forgive.”
“You move the Earth.”
“You love everyone and me.”

Perhaps my favorite answer, however, read: “You hold my grandmother in your hands.” The young girl who wrote that had asked for prayer earlier in the class because her grandmother had recently died. Her simple words demonstrated a rich theological truth. Indeed, only God could now hold her grandmother — she knew it and was grateful.
As you catalogue your blessings, I hope you’ll include a recognition of what only God can do for you as well. As scripture says, “A little child shall lead them…”

Want to read more? Here's my favorite article on thankfulness

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