1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Rudyard Kipling, author of “The Jungle Book”, at one time was so popular that his writings were getting ten shillings per word. [about $10!] A few college students however didn’t appreciate Kipling’s writings; they lightheartedly sent him a letter enclosing ten shillings. It read, “Please, send us your best word.” They got back a letter from Kipling, “Thanks.”
We live in a selfish nation. To many times we focus on what we don’t have rather than being thankful for what God has blessed us with. We become selfish and we want more. This is evidenced by the fact that less than 18 hours after we have paused to give thanks, people all over America will trample over one another in order to save a few dollars on Black Friday sales.
We have this attitude that says: I am really content, until I start looking through the Sears catalog. I liked my car, until I saw the new Chevy Camaro. I am satisfied with my clothes, until I stroll through the Mall. I love our home, until I think of what it would be like to have a mansion or a log cabin on the shore of some remote lake. I am satisfied with every area of my life, until I start comparing with someone else’s life. I feel like I have enough of everything, until I see someone who has more.
We have to quit being farsighted and become nearsighted. What I mean by that is we need to quit looking at what everyone else has and start looking at the blessings all around us that God as blessed us with! The secret of a happy life is not to get what you want but to live with what you’ve got. Most of us spend our lives concentrating on what we don’t have instead of thanking God for what we do have. Then we wake up, our life is over, and we missed the beauty of those blessings.
Do you realize we all have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving? How thankful do you think you would have been if you were among the first pilgrims? There were three boatloads that came over from England to make a home in this new country. On the voyage over, the wind blew them off course and instead of landing in Virginia, they landed in Massachusetts. And they landed just before the start of winter.
When winter came, it came with a fury, and within a month, half of them were sick. They had the crudest of shelters and very little in the way of supplies. Over half of them died that first winter, sometimes at the rate of two and three a day!
Come springtime, those that were left had next to no supplies left. Thankfully, the Indians showed them how to plant and raise corn. Their first harvest was barely enough to keep everyone fed. The sponsors of their trip refused to send any more supplies and I can imagine that, being human, many of them probably wanted to go back to England.
What did the pilgrims have to be thankful for? Well, for starters, they had their lives, and because the Indians showed them how to plant and harvest corn, they had enough supplies to get through the second winter. But how was their Thanksgiving different than our day of Thanksgiving?
You want to know how it was different. The pilgrims prayed as if their lives depended on it, we don’t. The pilgrims knew that everything they had was a direct blessing from God; sometimes we forget that. The pilgrims yearned to give thanks for all they had, most often we don’t.
Thanksgiving Day is this coming Thursday, and we need to be reminded of what thanksgiving is really about. When the word ‘thanksgiving’ is mentioned, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Well, let’s be honest for most of us we think of the three F’s, food, family and football. But when it comes to thanksgiving it’s more than food, family and football. The very first thought in our mind when we hear the word thanksgiving should not be food, family or football but rather thanks for the fact that God has given us food eat, that God has blessed us by allowing us to be with family that we love and that loves us and the fact that God has provided us a house with a TV so we can watch football. When we hear the word Thanksgiving we should instantly be reminded of how much thanks we owe God for the abundance we take for granted