Thanksgiving, Not Just A Day!
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day. In a country where God has been kicked out of just about everything, it is nice to still see a day set aside by an entire nation to give thanks. Many certainly don't give God credit for what they have, but I pray that you do.
I've been working for a while now, to try and place spiritual things ahead of earthly things in all my thinking. It's hard in a physical world and even harder in a country where we are so richly blessed with material things, but I've been trying to prioritize my thinking.
I've been trying to address spiritual blessings first in all my prayers, ahead of the physical. When I give thanks to God for what I have, I try to make the material things come dead last in that conversation. I try and give thanks for Christ, for His suffering on my behalf, and for the gift of grace and salvation He offers before I even let my mind shift to anything earthly. I thank God for His guidance, and ask Him for even more.
After addressing the spiritual blessings God provides, I've even made an exerted effort to give thanks for my degree of health, my fantastic wife, my family, and my Church family all before I even get to anything materialistic. I give thanks that I live in a good community, where people are still really good, honest and trustworthy with a few exceptions of course. I give thanks that we live in a free nation, with common freedoms and individual freedoms that not everybody in our world enjoys.
Then, finally, I get around to giving thanks for my job, my income, my house and the material things. I try hard not to ask for more, and I pray that I remember that none of these are mine, that I'm just given them to use for a while. I ask God to bless me with material things as He sees fit, with thanksgiving for the degree He has blessed me.
I don't know what order you list things when you give thanks, and I'm not suggesting God has a preference either. I just know it has helped me change my perspective on what is truly valuable and what is not. I truly believe we need to thank God for everything. He has given us "every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus" (Eph 1:3) which cost Him a lot. He has certainly blessed us in America with the ability in most cases to have good medical care and live healthy and happy, understanding we can't do that forever. He has blessed us with safety for the most part from harm to our physical bodies, and we certainly have freedoms as a nation and individually. And, not only do we need to give thanks, but we ought to recognize that when it comes to the material things, we are blessed well above and beyond what we need or deserve.
However you choose to thank God, I hope you have chosen to take a little extra time this week, close off that outside world, and talk to God, giving appreciation for the blessings He bestows on each and every one of us. Not just today, but every day, "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. " (1 Thes 5:18)