Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
For quite a while now the fourth Thursday in November has been set aside for a national day of giving thanks for all the blessings Divine Providence has bestowed upon the United States of America. Almost every President since Washington has issued a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation.
Given the hectic nature of the day this holiday has become in modern America, perhaps the Presidents could arrange a running start leading up to the day.
Maybe we could have a pre-holiday day of thanking Him for making us angry.
Whenever there is a loss -- from merely personally significant to overwhelmingly catastrophic -- there are always those who "thank God" they were not among the dead, injured, damaged, etc. Everyone else, admit it to ourselves or not, is angry with God for "allowing" the consequences of said event. The common human experience in such circumstances is to shout, "God, where are you?" Now we are asking the right question.
Maybe we could have a pre-holiday day of thanking Him for not giving us everything we want.
Isn't it strange that of all God's creations only humans are never satisfied with what we have -- always wanting one more thing? Perhaps this is merely a prosperous Americans phenomenon, but I doubt it. If He gave us everything we want, or think we want, would it be enough? And, if nothing else to desire, who could be grateful for what had been given? In may be that only in insufficiency do we appreciate what we have?
Maybe we could have a pre-holiday day of thanking Him for meeting us on our own level.
There is a principle of Bible study called "accommodation;" that is, that God reaches down to us at our own level of understanding. At least this is a rationale for the fact so many people see Him so differently. It might also explain how people of great intellectual abilities as well as we folk of considerably less ability find way to know Him and appreciate His provision. Someone said God is always talking in a language we can understand; it's just that mostly we ain't listening.
Maybe we could have a pre-holiday day of thanking Him for giving us time for wounds to heal.
There is a scar on my chest where a surgeon cut me open and tinkered with my heart. If you'd seen that scar the first year it was quite "groady" (our daughter's favorite word). After four years, though, if you don't know what it is you won't know what it is. Most scars -- physical and emotional -- are like that, significant only if we insist on scratching them. An old preacher once told me most people who came with overwhelming problems, if they really trust God, five years later can't remember even what year that problem was so important.
Maybe we could have a pre-holiday day for thanking Him for family, and for food, and for football!
Wait, we already have a Day for that.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.