Thankful for What?



This week, it is politically correct to discuss thankfulness.
.
What becomes a bit fuzzy is exactly to Whom we are to express that thanks.
.
Twice a year, it has become acceptable in American culture to mention God--even going so far as to designate which god we mean by discussing the God that the Pilgrims prayed to.
.
In a historical setting, a brief mention of God is fine, say the P.C. Police. Just don't let Him come off the page and into our everyday lives.
.
And so we drag out our annual litany of blessings for which we are thankful: food, family, freedom, and friends. Everyone nods and feels spiritual.
.
But what happens on Friday? Saturday? Sunday? When life goes back to being stressful. The food is leftovers, the family is fighting, the freedom is costing too much, and the friends stabbed you in the back. Now what?
.
True thankfulness does not happen only once a year. The Pilgrims lived hand-to-mouth for many months, relying on God for their very survival. Their feast of thanksgiving was a culmination of the praise and thanks they gave every other day of the year.
.
The Apostle Paul encapsulated everyday thankfulness when he described his "thorn in the flesh," which he had begged God to remove and He had not done so.
.
Instead, God told him this: "My grace is sufficient for you. My power is perfected in weakness."
.
How would you have responded? Most of us would have folded our arms and pouted. "Why not, God?" we would demand. "This is important to me. You must not love me, so I owe you nothing now." We would turn our heads away and withhold our thanks.
.
Paul, however, shows us how it's done. He responded, "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I glory in my weaknesses, in insults, distresses, persecutions, in difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."
.
Boast about weakness? Glory in difficulties? What about whining and complaining? What about getting angry with God?
.
Thanksgiving is about acknowledging God for who he is and what he has a right to do. A heart of thanksgiving responds to life's ugly situations with humility, recognizing that God is giving me an opportunity to rely on His wisdom and His strength rather than my own.
.
So this Thanksgiving, why don't you shock the turkey right off the table by announcing how thankful you are for the worst thing that happened to you this year?
.
What follows might be the only moment of silence you hear all day!
.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

.

No comments: