I’ve been thinking a lot about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. One definition for the word thanksgiving is “a blessing or prayer.” To some of you, that’s a funny name for this beloved holiday, right? I can think back to many years where I would have called it, “No thanks, giving” for one relative, I mean, reason, or another. I’m completely convinced that God has a sense of humor that is particularly tickled at the holidays. He sees all we’ve done within our relationships (the good, the bad and the ugly) have to get sorted out so we can enjoy a civilized meal together. A man reaps what he sows (Galatians 6:7). How true! I can tell you for me, at the holidays I need to dive into God’s word more than ever. I need to remind myself, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). I try harder knowing “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26) and I know He knows I’m trying.
Marys, Marthas, Cains, Abels, Pauls, Matthews, Peters, Marks, Lukes, James’, Johns, and (depending how colorful your family is) the woman at the well all congregate together at some willing soul’s home to break bread and give thanks. Just make sure you invite Jesus, too. Offer to say a prayer to begin your feast thanking Him for the food AND the people He helped us whip together. Put some thought into it. Each person at that table is there (like it or not) and you might be the only Bible they will ever read. So BE the salt shaker of His word. Share His light and truth and way through the way you live. Look past the turkey, potatoes and stuffing, the yams and cranberry sauce, to see the glorious creations God put at your table. Although you may not be as delighted to see everyone as Mom’s apple pie, someone there in your midst might feel like the lost sheep our dear shepherd selected you to corral. Showcase your gratitude to God. Not sure where to start? I like Psalms 100:3-5 or go to www.esvbible.org where you can run a search finding the right words for you. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the Lord’s Prayer. That one came right from His lips.
This year I challenge you: instead of dodging your sister in-law at the dessert table, tell her how you value her and remind her she’s in your prayers. A lost soul that is reminded how they are significant, can find hope. I can’t think of one relative that would refuse seconds on that dish! Dig deep and find one thing in one relative at your table this year that bugged you last year but at closer glance is clearly a blessing. And bear in mind, you might be it for them. Just as Rick Warren said in the opening line of A Purpose Driven Life, “It’s not all about you.” God could be using you as His instrument to plant some seeds in them that they need. Feel honored He picked you…He NEVER makes mistakes.