This is the question GOD had on my mind in the early hours this morning. And as I thought it was interesting to reflect on the answers I would have given through the years -
As a child, it meant a trip to Grandpa and Grandma's and also was a marker on the calendar, Christmas wasn't far away!!
As a high schooler, it meant basketball was here and games were about to begin! Back in the day we played in a holiday tourney, so in my mind Thanksgiving really was "Game time" Eve.
In those days, Thanksgiving basically was another day on the calendar. Special simply because it brought me one step closer to what I wanted.
I'm thankful it has taken on a whole new dimension over the last 10 years! Primarily because I now understand it's really not what I'm thankful for, but because of Who I'm giving thanks to.
Now Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of reflecting and reminders. The day always reminds me of our engagement - 10 years ago tonight my husband pruposed after our Thanksgiving Eve services. What a great memory!
And as I reflect on the years we've shared I realize I have much to be thankful for - a husband who loves me more today than he did then; 4 children who sometimes drive me crazy, but always bless my day; wonderful extended family; amazing friends; a warm home; a church family that helps me grow; opportunities to serve; the list goes on...
But last night after reading a post about how sometimes the holidays are hard because life is hard - relationships are broken, finances are low, lives on earth come to an end, things change. Holidays can cause us to remember the way things were and leave us missing what was and though it's good to be thankful for what was, this morning I got to thinking we must also remember to be thankful for what is.
If we are followers of Christ and truly believe He does work all together for the good who love Him, we should be thankful in (not necessarily for) all circumstances. Perhaps it's not what we want, planned or expected, but He is in control and has a purpose.
Finally even more than the "counting your blessings" and "thankful for" lists what truly is important on this day of Thanksgiving is giving thanks! In Old Testament times, there were thank offerings given and I believe God asks us to do that yet today, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2
What does Thanksgiving mean to you? And more importantly what offering of thanks will you give to your Father and Lord this holiday?