November 22, 2o12
Thanksgiving Day is a great holiday and the four-day weekend ushers in the start of the real holiday season (no offense to Halloween) and a break we all appreciate. Thanksgiving seems like the eye of the storm, the calm nestled between the crazy pace of autumn when work and school rev up into high gear, and the impending mad rush of the Christmas and New Year season.
What I love the most is the great feeling of having our family all together again for the first time in over 3 months as our oldest just returned home from college, like many others who have journeyed home to be with those they love. Thanksgiving Day is filled with parades, football, family traditions, memories, and great food. Above all else … and even if none of these other things existed in our lives … Thanksgiving is a time that provides the opportunity for us to be simply thankful … a time to lift ourselves and others out of the dark dungeon of ungratefulness.
You see, we live in an age of entitlement … and it’s often difficult to be thankful when we feel “entitled” to so many things. We tend to focus on what we want instead of all the blessings we do have and should be so thankful for. We need to work hard to counteract the glut of propaganda that proclaims, “We deserve more.”
Every Christmas commercial, ad, self-help book, well-meaning friend, and small voice from your flesh will scream that you deserve everything that is good or valuable. But really, we are all sinners and, news flash … the wages for sin is death. Everything we have is a tremendous gift of powerful grace that is granted to us by the One we offend, disappoint, reject, deny, and grieve very regularly.
I hate to be a holiday downer. But you see, unless you know what you really and truly deserve, it is impossible to see how many gifts you have been granted and how much unbelievable grace you have been blessed with every single day.
Today, when you aren’t full of thanks, ask God to open your eyes and release you from the dark dungeon of ungratefulness. Before you eat, go around the table, holding hands, and tell each other what you are thankful for. Remember, the secret of being thankful is learning to see everything from God’s perspective. Then you will truly thank Him for loving, pursuing, and giving you so much, instead of giving you what you really deserve. A perspective and attitude of ungrateful entitlement or thankful glee is your decision, so choose well.
The staff at Lighthouse Network wishes the Stepping Stones community a blessed Thanksgiving Day and future. We are thankful for you and your encouragement to us.
Dear Father God, I come to You in prayer. I ask, Father, that You set me free from the prison of ingratitude. Release me, Lord, to enjoy the pleasures of having a thankful heart. It’s easy for me, Father, to be grateful when I wake up on the right side of the bed and encounter no major problems. At other times, thankfulness feels totally unreachable. I need a perspective-lift Father; help me see things from Your viewpoint. I pray in the name of the One who is the source and reason for my thankfulness, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
To open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house. Isaiah 42:7
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Thessalonians 5:18