In the 75th anniversary editon of “The Joy of Cooking,” the authors share an antecdote about Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s founding fathers. In a letter to his daughter, Franklin wrote that he wished the bald eagle had not been chosen as the national bird, contending that the turkey was truly a original native of America and deserved the honor much more than the bald eagle. Surely, old Ben would be glad to know that the turkey serves as the main attraction on the dining room tables of his countrymen every Thanksgiving.
Amid the chaos of 2020, I believe God has shown us what we have to be thankful for as residents living in the free world. While we were confined to home, many of us grew closer and reconnected to family. Yes, others among us struggled and realized that their lives needed a massive reboot. Having been there and done that, I know that it is possible to find gratitude even in our greatest dilemmas. Challenges breed perseverance. Perseverance builds character. Character provides us endurance and endurance yields faithfulness.
Sing out with songs of thanksgiving to the Lord!
Let’s sing our praises with melodies overflowing!Psalm 147:7
The Passion Translation
Over the years, recovery has taught me to be thankful even for my missteps and my messes. God miracously managed to make a beautiful life out of it all anyway. I am thankful because I am a fortunate man who is living a very blessed life.
Most of us can agree that thankfulness is a good thing that leads to postive results. Thankfulness yields a number of spiritual blessings.
- Thankfulness grows our humility. We celebrate independence and self-reliance. Indeed, we believe in looking out for Numero Uno. Thankfulness helps us remember that we cannot do it on all on our own. We need people. And…we need God.
- Thankfulness calms our spirit. This year has certainly caused us a lot of worry. Anxiety and stress are at all-time highs. When life is difficult, it can be easy to focus on our problems and become overwhelmed by our circumstances. Being thankful helps direct our focus to what really matters.
- Thankfulness diminishes envy. Social media has led to an increase of envy as we covet the lives others seem to be living. We like to measure our lives in comparsion to others. Being thankful for what we have helps diminish envy and augment our joy.
- Thankfulness reduces bitterness. Our endless comparsion and endless inventory- taking of others can lead to a bad attitude. As a matter of fact, if we’re not careful it can make us bitter and miserable. Thankfulness reduces these negative feelings and replaces them with happiness, joy, and gratitude.
- Thankfulness makes relationships better. Remembering to be thankful for the people God has placed in our lives helps those relationships flourish. Healthy relationships help us become more thankful individuals.
How about you? What are you thankful this Thanksgiving?
A Thanksgiving Blessing
O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
for the wide sky and the blessed sun,
for the salt sea and the running water,
for the everlasting hills
and the never-resting winds,
for trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
by which we hear the songs of birds,
and see the splendor of the summer fields,
and taste of the autumn fruits,
and rejoice in the feel of the snow,
and smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
and save our souls from being so blind
that we pass unseeing
when even the common thornbush
is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
The Devotional Guy™
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