Incomplete Thanksgiving Expressions

I’m sending Thanksgiving thoughts across the miles while visiting another state. As we pause in our busy schedule to celebrate this special holiday, the words ‘Happy Thanksgiving” are popping up everywhere–on napkins, the news, banners, signs, ads, in songs-and even on tee-shirts.   While a nice phrase, I can’t help but think of the incompleteness of those two words.

This special holiday was created for recognition, reflection and for action beyond a happy phrase, football games and turkey.  It’s not enough to feel happy or even express thanks-it’s a good beginning, but incomplete.

Giving proper thanks recognizes, with a sincere sense of gratitude, the persons and means responsible for those things that we appreciate in this imperfect world.  During busy times we are easily distracted but its good to pause and reflect on the source of all blessings.  Giving glad thanks will be difficult for some across our land and several in my own sphere of company– Those who are separated from or have lost loved ones, those struggling with betrayals and divorce, those whose prosperity met with recent drastic reversals, and others feeling very helpless in the face of pain and declining health.

Broken hearts , broken bodies and broken dreams interfere with a sense of gratitude much more than busy distractions.  I’m very mindful of those whom I know and love who are struggling with hurt, weariness, and discouragement. You are in my prayers for the Lord to comfort your hearts, supply your every need, and replenish gladness in your souls.

Thanksgiving, however, as a holiday and a command for life remains upon us all. Even in dark hours, a cup of blessing encircles us.  As citizens, we appreciate the benefits and comforts that surround us–shelter, food, peace, family, friends, and more.  As family members, we can be thankful for those who love and support us ; as children, we should appreciate our parents;  as civilians, we appreciate (and most of us do) those who serve our country and guarantee our peaceful lives; as immigrants, we should regard, respect, and appreciate the safety and benefits of America, the “beautiful, heavenly land”;  as descendants and recipients of Christian Pilgrim forefathers, we must be grateful for their perseverance in hardships, endurance and diligence in founding a country based on Biblical covenants and principles.  The heart that makes room for gratitude scatters the  darkness.  It’s overflow, when it comes, shares and walks in brotherly love.

Each one of us should remember (even when difficulties cloud our vision and stomp on our emotions) to give thanks to the Creator and Maker, Who has established all the ends of the earth, and has made Himself known to men with His flawless word and through His only Son, Jesus Christ. By and through Him, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.  Then our thanks is complete, for it rightly recognizes God, as the Giver of life.

Wise people take heed to their attitudes, actions, and words.  We must not un-do the words of our mouth with improper actions and destructive attitudes.

It was a wise man who prayed

“Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die.  “”Keep me from falsehoods, vanity and lies, give me neither poverty nor riches, but feed me with food that is right and needful for me. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown and deny You saying “Who is the Lord?” Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God”.”

The act of thanksgiving rendered to the Creator has a magical uplifting quality, with eternal implications. It precedes a merry and cheerful heart, which does much good, like a healthy elixir.

May  God grant us the grace to speak and give thanks to Him. Your protocol matters.

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