Well, here we are again. The Holidays have come roaring back into our lives. For many of us, it means time with family and friends, frantic shopping sprees, cooking endless amounts of food, parties, and empty bank accounts. However, before we get to carried away with all that goes with this time of year, I want us to stop just for a moment and focus on what this time of year really should be about and not what it has become.
While there are many benefits to the way we go about the holiday season these days, there are just as many downfalls. We get to spend time with our families (for some that is a good thing, while for others, it makes for shortness of breath and frequent chest pains). For some, it is hardy meals followed by a trip to the store for expandable pants and Tums. And for the insane folks, it means spending time after your family meal planning a shopping spree that starts a midnight (for these people, there mouths water more over the money they will save, then the endless supply of food and treats in the kitchen).
So where are the downfalls of all of this? The downfalls, unfortunately come in the same context and events as all the above. We get so lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday madness, that we rarely just stop and reflect on what God has done for us over the last year. We loss sight over the blessings, victories and even hard times we have gone through.
So am I saying that we should not do these things? No… I simply want us to take some time this holiday season and really reflect on what God has done for us and what He is doing for us. You see, many times we pray for God to help us and pour out His blessings on us and we forget to give thanks. Sometimes, we go through some difficult times, such as a death, a loss of a job, a loss of a home, or maybe a family break-up. And we forget to give thanks. What? Give thanks for all those bad things? Why would I do that? God’s Word tells us in all things we are to give thanks. It also tells us in Romans 8:28, “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.” You see, God is constantly working in and through our lives, helping to shape and mold us into what He wants us to be in Him. Sometimes that means going through difficult times in order that we might see and depend on Him. Sometimes it means He pours out blessings upon us that we may honor Him and give Him the Glory. But it tells us that we are to in all things give thanks. Let us remember this, that God loves us far more than we can ever truly realize. So much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to pay the debt that could never fully be paid without Him. Let us remember that God owes us nothing, but has given us everything, eternal life for those who know and call upon His Son to be their Lord and Savior. This should be reason enough for us always to give Him Thanks.
So, with all this being said, it is truly my prayer for us all to stop and just spend some time reflecting on the true meaning of Thanksgiving and give thanks to the Lord this Holiday Season for what He has done for us. May it not just be in our words, but rather let it break us all over again… let the tears of Thanksgiving pour from our hearts. Let the joy of victory empower us, embrace us and go with us! Let our minds be renewed and our souls and spirits be filled with gratitude for ALL the Lord has done for us!
Make this Thanksgiving this best one of your life, as you find the true Spirit of Thanksgiving!
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV