What are the memories of some of your favorite Thanksgiving? For me it was the awe of entering into the fantasy like atmosphere of my Grandparents old home on Thanksgiving afternoon complete with the steamed windows, the overpowering flavor of the roasting turkey filling every nook and cranny of the home, the smile on my Grandparent’s faces as they greeted our family at the door, the fantastic, mouthwatering array of home cooked with lots of love, traditional and Italian specialties on the kitchen table and lined platter to platter around the wonderful kitchen that was my Grandmothers favorite place in the world, and of course, all the fun my cousin and I would have as we scurried away to our own little world to play before and after dinner!
After my wife and I were married and had our family, I would always enjoy looking around our house on Putney Drive in Santa Rosa, California and smile as I saw all of Piper’s relatives clustered in small groups around the dining room, with Piper in the kitchen and with our kids in the living room chatting away and catching up on each other’s lives since the previous Holiday Season's gatherings.
Thanksgiving is a special time for families to gather and reunite. For many it is the best and most relaxing event of all the Holiday celebrations as it entails a lot less work and stress than the following Christmas rush allows for! It is also the special opportunity to remember all the good things that our Papa God has done for us over the last year.
This was the time a year ago when the Lord started to give me some inklings of our impending move across the country. It was the beginning of a new and exciting but yet, a little scary big adventure in our lives. As I look back a year later and six months into our residence in North Carolina, I am almost speechlessly thankful at seeing the hand of the Lord every step of the way. From all the moving preparations and plans to the physical move, and then getting settled in a new state, His favor has abounded.
Like I mentioned a few blog posts ago, Papa God’s love has abounded in almost daily confirmations of our obedience to Him. Everything hasn’t always been easy, but He has continually been there to lead us, uphold us, provide the way and to open doors. I Thessalonians 5:18 encourages us: “Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this.” (God’s Word ©)
While this verse implies that we put our trust in the Lord to guide us through by the giving of thanks after the occurrence of any event in our lives, 2 Chronicles 20:21 gives a hint to even a better way of life. In this story Jehoshaphat was directed to appoint a special team of people to precede the army and sing praises and thanksgivings unto God BEFORE the battle of their lives took place. The Bible relates the results of this preemptive strike by recording: “As they started to sing praises, the Lord set ambushes against the Ammonites, Moabites, and the people of Mount Seir who had come into Judah (and) they were defeated!” (God’s Word ©)
I would think that since we are not always aware of every situation that we will face each day, that it would be best to simply develop a lifestyle of thanksgiving. I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Never stop praying” (God’s Word ©), so why not just include some daily thanksgivings into your continuous life of prayer unto Him? According to 2 Chronicles it will give you a jump on everything ahead!
So Piper and I wish you a most blessed, happy, enjoyable and peaceful Thanksgiving 2014. Take the time to thank Papa God for all that He has done for you this last year and then look ahead and give THANKS to Him for all of His goodness that He has in store during this Holiday Season and the New Year ahead! Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I THANKFULLY expectant of today?”