Weeks of Thanks: Thanking God

The United States celebrates Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. The holiday is filled with food, family, and football. It traditionally marked the beginning of the Christmas season, although that has increasingly shifted earlier and earlier in my lifetime. Often lost is the original intent for the holiday – a day set aside to give thanks to God for the provisions of life and liberty. With that in mind, Lambchow is gearing our 2020 November articles towards thankfulness.

2020 has been a wild, never seen before in our lifetime, ride. Every turn of the calendar brought new challenges and uncertainties. And we’re not through with it yet. All our lives have, in one way or another, been turned upside down and shaken around. We’ve worried about Covid-19, suffered through lockdowns and economic slowdowns. We’ve seen political turmoil in our government, around our elections, and in our streets. Every day seems to bring a new loss of freedom or new fear to worry about.

Buried in all that turmoil are vast opportunities to give thanks. We begin with the most obvious – giving thanks to God. The Psalmist writes, “I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9:1–2, NASB95) Too often, we complain to God in our prayers and spend very little time thanking Him.

What can we thank God for? The list is long, and I encourage you to spend time with this. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil, or a laptop, or even the voice recorder on your phone. Consider all that you need to thank God for. Thank God for who He is, for His love, grace, and forgiveness. Thank Him for sending Jesus for our sins. Thank God for the many ways His hands move in your life. The love you share with others, the provisions of life, and life itself. Consider how He has answered prayer (you may need to set aside your expectations to see how God’s hand has been present in your life). There is much to be thankful for.

After taking the time to document our thankfulness to God, the next part comes easier. “I will be glad and exult in You!” Thankfulness, gladness, and reveling in God pushes aside the worry, anxiety, and fear this year has brought us by the bushel. It’s hard to be glad and exult in God when we can’t get our eyes off our problems. Thankfulness doesn’t make them go away but allows us to see past them and put our struggles, problems, and fears into a new perspective. No matter the mountain before us, God is always larger still. Regardless of the dark depths of our pit, He is deeper still.  That assurance is something else to be thankful about.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore other avenues of thanksgiving. All have one common thread. Thankfulness is a value proposition. We are thankful to those we value. Thankfulness recognizes and increases the value we have towards others. Call it a double-edged blessing that benefits all involved. To that end let me say “thank you” for taking a few moments from your day to read Lambchow. We thank God for each and every person that reads our pages.  

Dale Heinold
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