Give Thanks

Today is a day in our country where families and friends gather, eat turkey, watch football, catch up on all the family gossip, and spend time together. It’s a day that we set aside to be thankful for everything in our lives. Every year on this day we count our blessings and are humbled by how much we have in our lives. But let me ask you, what would it look like if this culture of being thankful was an every day thing rather than a once a year event?

And that’s exactly what scripture calls for us to do. In 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18, the apostle Paul reminds us to not only constantly be joyful and pray without ceasing, but to also “be thankful in all circumstances” [NLT]. Paul challenges us to have a lifestyle of thanksgiving! 

One of my favorite stories in scripture is found in Luke 17, the story of Jesus cleansing the ten lepers. I won’t explain the story in detail because I’m trying to keep this short, but in a Sunday school version of the story- there were ten lepers that Jesus heals, but only one of them returned praising God and and fell on His face at Jesus’ feet giving thanks. And I think this is a prime example of how our world is today. When God works in our lives or when we feel overwhelmingly blessed, do we sit at His feet and give thanks? Or do we just feel joyful and continue with our life?

I think in the society we live in today, it’s easy for us to feel grateful and say thanks for a day, but it’s a challenge when considering this to be a way of life. Just think about it…at Thanksgiving lunch or dinner (whichever one your family does), everyone talks about how much God has blessed them and how they’re so thankful. But fast forward a few hours, as a country we’re taking part in Black Friday- people wait in lines, pushing and shoving, to get good deals on more stuff that they probably don’t need. See the point I’m trying to make? Why is it that our view and attitude on life and everything changes so quickly?

For me, what I’m most grateful for this Thanksgiving is for sweet grandparents, specifically my appachen- Pappachi. I’m thankful in the ways he taught me to pursue the Lord in everything. My grandpa was a man that reminded me to always give thanks to the Lord in all circumstances and it was also something I saw him practice in his daily life. Even though his passing is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to face, I’m thankful to have a loving God who continues to heal my heart and remind me of His goodness and faithfulness through this difficult season! 

I’ve tried to keep this post short because I don’t want this to take away time from you spending Thanksgiving with family and loved ones. Just remember, we’re called to live a life constantly giving thanks to God no matter the conditions. Don’t just let it be an emotion on one day of the year, but rather a lifestyle! 

One last thought on Thanksgiving I want to share- please keep yourselves updated on what goes on in our nation. As many of us are in the safety of our homes without any real concerns about our food or homes, our Native American brothers and sisters are fighting for the land beneath their own feet. I ask that as you give thanks for all your blessings, that you don’t forget the people who this nation we live on once belonged to. I ask that you pray for our brothers and sisters who are up against the Dakota Access Pipeline which potentially puts their homes and safety on the line. I invite you to look into it more so you can learn how to pray for our Native American brothers and sisters more specifically! 

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