When Johnny Carson hosted the Tonight Show, one year during Thanksgiving week he said, “Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel hundreds, some thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And they discover once a year is WAY too often.”
Some of you may feel that way. But I hope you’re like me and are blessed with great memories of Thanksgiving get-togethers with family.
Thanksgiving was a day set aside by our government… “That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him (God) our sincere and humble thanks…” (said George Washington); “to set apart the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” (said Abraham Lincoln). However, Christians should not need to be told by the government to give thanks to God.
Ephesians 5:19,20 tells us to speak, and sing for the purpose of “giving thanks to God the Father for everything…” Keep in mind, the man calling us to be thankful was not in some 5-star resort. He was in prison for his faith. In 1 Thess. 5:18 he said “give thanks in ALL circumstances.” Paul spoke of some form of the word “thanks” over 50 times in his letters. Having thankful hearts draws us closer to each other – we love being around thankful people. We are not too fond of being around people who always complain about their circumstances. There is a time for bearing one another’s burdens and sharing our pains and frustrations. But as Christians we should be known for thankfulness more than complaining about the things we don’t have.
A thankful heart also draws us closer to God. We love to be thanked. We will deny it – “Oh you don’t have to thank me!” But we really do appreciate when people take note of something we did for them and they thank us. We like to be thanked for opening doors for people or for letting drivers cut in etc. God loves to hear us thank Him too. And He deserves it! Let’s practice thanking Him now as we will be doing that in eternity.