On November 11, 1620, about 102 settlers aboard the Mayflower arrived in the New World, and there was nothing to greet them except the harsh reality of a New England winter. Within five months, over half their number had died of starvation, cold, and disease. How amazing, then, that these “pilgrims” could still find reasons to be thankful in spite of such hardships!
In more modern times, Thanksgiving brings to mind warm memories of turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie, family togetherness, and football games on television. Thanksgiving is a time when we pause to remember how blessed we are as well as to reflect on how we are using those blessings. Sometimes, family members whose hearts are full of joy at such occasions might say, “I wish it could be Thanksgiving all year long!”
You know, we really ought to make every day a day of thanksgiving! The Bible says, “in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18).I honestly don’t believe that the pilgrims concentrated all their thankfulness into one single day, and neither should we! God’s word teaches we would be much more joyful people if we would simply learn the habit of being grateful people.
Here are some practical ideas:
• Every night, write down five specific blessings you experienced that day.
• At least once a week, take the time to write a note of gratitude to someone who has blessed you with their life.
• Every time you pray, listen to what you are really saying to God. Are my prayers concerned mostly with saying, “I want, I want, I want,” or, “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You”?
• Each day, make it a point to tell just one person in your life something you admire and appreciate about them. Be specific, and DO NOT BE NEGATIVE.
• Never forget that everyone has three basic blessings: Life (Acts 17:28), Opportunity (Galatians 6:10), and the Lord (Titus 2:11). With these three blessings, even the poorest of the poor can be grateful.
John Baker, Katy church of Christ Katy, TX