Summary: An exploration of what we all have that we can be thankful for, inspite of our life situation.
Thanks For The Things You Have Done
A father and his son were seated at the dining room table, while the mother was finishing the final preparations on the family’s dinner. While the father and son were seated, the father asked the son if he would say the prayer for the meal. The youngster nodded his head, and said that he would pray. The mother placed the last of the meal on the table, and sat down. The boy looked around the table at the food for a moment, and began to pray. He said, "God, I’m not sure what it is. But thanks anyway. And I’ll still eat it."
I don’t think that was what Paul had in mind in 2 Corinthians 9:15, when he wrote, "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift."
Consider Psalm 92:1-2, "It is good to give thanks to the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night."
Thanksgiving is an occasion which has some Christians perplexed. They question "for what can I give thanks?" That is a good question.
1. Lives of wealth and luxury
Some of us have been able to fulfill our dreams to surround ourselves with the best things of life. Our banking accounts are doing fine. Our portfolio is showing healthy growth. On average, we are able to replace our cars every 3 to 4 years.
We live in a nation that has developed an economic system that is designed to foster a sense that we need more and newer and better. So we replace the television with one that gives us a larger picture. We replace the shelf system stereo with theatre surround sound. We buy the riding lawn mower when we could use the exercise from the pushing mover.
Even the US poor are rich by the world’s standards. The average income in the third world is $180 annually.
Can I be thankful for my life of wealth and luxury. You bet I can, but in a world of poverty there must be something greater for which to say thanks.
Georgia Finch was an old woman who was on retirement benefits. Her retirement check did not cover her monthly expenses. One month, she came across the scripture: "I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their seed begging for bread." She decided she would take God at His word when the cupboards ran bear. On three consecutive days, Georgia Finch went into the breakfast nook, and sat by the window, and repeated those words. On the first day three boys walked by and wondered what this silly woman was doing. They passed again on the second day. On the third day, they decided they were going to have a little fun. They went to the store and bought a loaf of bread and returned to Miss Finch’s home. When she began her prayer, one of the boys who had climbed up to the roof dropped the bread into the hearth. At the sound, Georgia looked to the hearth, and saw the loaf, and picked it up and began to dance around the room. The boys scurried to the door. When Georgia Finch answered their knock, they said, "Lady, God did not give you that bread. We did!" Georgia Finch looked them sternly and stated, "I prayed that God would sent me this bread, and I believe he did it, even if he used the devil to deliver it."
Food is an obvious item for which to give thanks on thanksgiving. We have the turkey, the dressing, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. And to top it all of pumpkin pie. Some of us may gorge ourselves to a place where we will hardly be able to move.
Yet in the midst of that feast, I will be forced to call to mind all of those who do not have anything to eat. Ten years ago, we all heard about the starvation in Africa, but while much of it continues in Sudan and Ethiopia we don’t hear about it anymore.
There are even those in our community who will have just a small morsel of which they shall eat.
Can I be thankful for the meals which appear as a banquet spread. You bet I can, as well as the smaller blessings of my normal meals. But in a world of hunger and starvation there must be something greater for which to say thanks.
I am thankful for my present home. I have lived in a wide assortment of homes in my adult life. They have included a 12’ x 48’ trailer for a family of four, a house that the additional had a 5 degree lean, to a rental home that sold 3 days after moving in. I have even been homeless for a short period of time with a family of five living in someone else’s basement. So my five bedroom house with two baths, a large deck, swimming pool, and fenced backyard is a real treat.