If you had noticed, last Thursday was Thanksgiving holiday in North America, and hence the many related blog posts by Christian authors and pastors during the week. I enjoyed this post by Mark Galli from Christianity Today, which reminds me that the ability to give thanks is really a gift and grace of God. Here’s a paragraph from the article that raised a chuckle, yet reminded me of my own reluctance to give thanks:
Here we are, aware of the multitude of blessings that God has showered upon us, claiming to be people who love God and yearn to be in his presence—and then we find ourselves at the dinner table. The father or mother turns to one of the children and asks her to return thanks. If the parent absent-mindedly calls on the same person two nights in a row, they’ll hear, “I did it last night! It’s Susan’s turn!” As if saying grace was a punishment. You’d think, given the abundance of grace poured down upon us, we’d all be waving our hands to be recognized so that we could return thanks! As the parent who initiates this little liturgy each night, I’ll admit that many nights I feel exactly like the person who says, “It’s not my turn!” and I’m glad I can appoint another person to pray. Yikes! And this from a supposedly dedicated and devout follower of Jesus. And I suspect I am not alone! This little iconic moment around the dinner table reveals so much about our hearts. How funny we are. And so it seems that Paul’s encouragement here—to give thanks to God always and for everything—is the perfect message for us.
The giving-ends session on Fri about Counselling skills for dealing with depression and homosexuality also caused me to see the importance of thanksgiving. Point six in how to CONQUER depression in Christ is to ‘Exchange hurt for thanksgiving. Choose to give thanks even when you don’t feel thankful. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 The 5:18).’ Some of these handlers are not just for use when we hit depression, they are to be cultivated and nurtured now. So is the point on ‘Nurture your thoughts on God’s love for you’. So we must learn to do these every day.
Anyway, I told myself that if I’m called to give thanks for food, I will do it willingly, with a sincere heart, and to daily, deliberately give thanks for God’s provision 🙂
(Ahem, I would like to remind everyone that the noun for ‘provide’ is not ‘providence’ but ‘provision‘. ‘Providence’ means ‘a manifestation of divine care or direction’ (one of the meanings). Sounds like ‘providing’ but isn’t.)