Everywhere you look – Thanksgiving
You know sometimes I get upset because, my children don’t seem to be thankful. They expect things….3 meals a day, to be taken places at a moments notice and they expect money to just appear when they want it. They seem to only say “thank you” when prompted by one parent or the other.
This morning we are on the down hill stretch to another Thanksgiving Day.
Abraham Lincoln in his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863 said this:
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
He goes into a brief mention of the waste and loss of the war that is underway. How industry continues and the population grows and all of it is because of God.
In Lincoln’s day and right up to this minute, people become so puffed up and prideful of their own abilities that they need to be reminded to be thankful to God. We even forget to pray and ask for mercy. We forget that everything comes from God.
The Psalmist said, it a long time before Lincoln.
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did.
The psalmist is referring to the time when the people were complaining in Exodus 17 abut Moses leading them into the desert to die of thirst. Meribah and/Massah mean quarreling and testing.
Lincoln and the psalmist speak to the basic flaw of mankind , that starts with not being satisfied with what we have. We also have a tendency to develop and attitude of I did it, I deserve it - not I’m thankful for it.
The psalmist gives us and understanding that Thanksgiving is an attitude, an attitude we are to cultivate in our hearts if we are not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Having the right heart attitude also speaks to how we move into every new day.
So, as we look around, I believe that we need to notice and be thankful. Lets start with UP.
Looking up is to notice the power and gifts of God. We need to get into the habit of thanking God. Not just on the one day a year that the country sets aside for the purpose…. We need to live nor as thanks-giving but, thanks-living.
-- Harriet was an atheist. One morning she & a Christian lady-friend stepped out into the glories of a beautiful fall morning. As Harriet saw the brilliant sun peaking through the haze, & the frost on the meadow, & the brightly colored leaves making their way lazily to the ground, she was filled with the beauty & said, "I am so thankful. I’m just so grateful for it all." And her believing friend asked, "Grateful to whom, my dear?"
We should develop a habit of thanking God…He created us for His glory and so we should give Him the glory! That means, the good parking spot, the accident avoided, anything that we might call luck. That means that we actually share when something good happens and Give God the credit….AND tell people about it.
Let me share with all of you and example of what I mean. You all know I was in the hospital a while back. Well I finally got a bill. Over the last months I got several things fro the Insurance Company. Generally they listed all the things they were not going to cover.
I was a little hesitant to open the envelope. When I did I noticed the charges were well over $17,000. My co pay of $500 plus 20% makes my share of the bill $4100. As I looked down the bill I noticed that the insurance had made a payment of $666.00. That was a really strange total. I saw the $100 co-pay we made at the hospital and a subtotal over $16000.00. Then the next line was a negative for $16000 and some odd dollars leaving $400 due by me.
I reviewed the charges and the notes and found the total to be accurate. Folks I thanked God. The hospital wrote off the amount without hassling me for the difference because the Insurance Company said that I never should have stayed.
That is the kind of news about God that we should share, not just the fact that I did not need to stay but, the deliverance from a big financial burden. God has never really handed me cash; however, he has helped me financially and physically more times that I can really count.