Who are you thanking?

Most Americans enjoy tremendous abundance in almost everything.  Relatively few suffer the extreme deprivations of poverty common on most of the planet.  Add the incredible conveniences of technology and it seems implausible any problem could plague us for long.  Americans have much to be thankful for, but if your thankfulness is for what and not also who, then your thanks giving is superficial and sadly lacking.

At some Thanksgiving tables, families have the tradition of going around the table with each sharing what they are thankful for.  A healthy and well-intended exercise to be sure, there are typically all manner of cute and up lifting declarations.  Everyone is thankful for the delicious plentiful food and hopefully the loving cooks.  Some might be thankful for graduating, a new job, a new car or home, or whatever achievement or gift.  It could be as lighthearted as a young child thankful for their two front teeth or as solemn as a cancer patient thankful for remission.

Those thankful for someone reach a more lasting plane.  Some will be thankful for a family member or friend.  Someone who mentored, helped, loved, or generally gave of themselves.  While the “whats” or “things” may be quite nice, they are of this world and can never transcend it.  Relationships, the “who,” the people can out last all “things” and even be forever.  However, there is only one path to forever.

The biggest “who” is the One that made it all possible; the One that created everything.  But humans have accomplished so much and advanced so far, it’s difficult to remember how everything came to be.  In fact, no one in all of history save One witnessed the beginning.  It’s easy to see and applaud marvelous medical cures, admire terrific technological developments, esteem heroism, appreciate remarkable generosity, or just think about how hard you worked for what you have.

There is nothing wrong with thanking the doctor, but who gave them the skill?  Or the scientist, but who gave them the inspiration and intellect?  Or the protector, but who gave them courage?  Or the benefactor, but who gave them a heart for charity?  A certain amount of pride in your own accomplishments is fine as long as you remember whence everything came.

The stark reality is whether talent or treasure we are each but mere custodians for a few fleeting moments of eternity.  Nothing we have on this earth will last or go with us into the next realm.  Our souls travel on only with the knowledge of who we have known and whatever relationships we have cultivated.  So who you know and appreciate is vital.

Every person in the world can know the Creator and be thankful to Him.  Americans are particularly blessed not just because of our unparalleled wealth and security, but because we live in a land where God is acknowledged as the Creator and our rights bestowed by Him are protected and inviolate.  We live free in America as God intended, so we are supremely blessed to live in this great land.

It is right and normal to be thankful for all you have and deeply appreciate everyone in your life, but the essence of thankfulness cannot be attained without thanking the Creator for every aspect of life, both the success and the sorrow.  God has a perfect plan and each of us are part of it.  Accept Christ and thank God for making it all possible; and your relationship with Him and all those you love will be eternal.  There is no better thanks giving.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Colossians 3:17



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