I Timothy 4:4-6—For everything created by God is good, and nothing should be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer. If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.
Kathy was a hard worker—the kind of person who made everyone around her better. When she shook your hand, you knew you were in the presence of one strong woman! I remember many eggs, bacon, and toast she happily prepared for her husband, Clay and me in their home in Newberg, Oregon. Last Friday I attended her funeral service, her battle with cancer finally over; it was nice to know she is now with the Lord.
After the service, I invited Clay to join my family for Thanksgiving. He politely declined. He had already made plans to serve Thanksgiving meals to homeless kids. Actually, I was not surprised because Clay is a big man with a huge heart. He is out serving and brightening the lives of those who are hurting. While his heart aches with the loss of his beloved wife, his hands bring joy to others because of his deeper spirit of thankfulness.
When I think about Thanksgiving, I think more about the sacrifice than the abundance. Jerry Wilson wrote on his website,http://wilstar.com/holidays/thankstr.htm:
The Pilgrims set ground at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. Their first winter was devastating. At the beginning of the following fall, they had lost 46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflower. But the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a [3 day] feast—Including 91 natives who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. It is believed that the Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of the natives.
Like those early Pilgrims and Indians, we also should set aside time to be thankful. Perhaps it is even wiser to consider why we are able to give thanks. We were created by a Father who sent His Son as the solution to our sinful condition despite knowing most people would spurn His offer. Jesus experienced humanity, not so He could go back to heaven and tell the angels what it is like to be a man. Rather, He cared so much about our pathetic condition, that He accepted catastrophic death. Through Divine eyes, He humanly saw beyond our selfishness something far deeper—souls created and made for fellowship! His love is so profound that He extends grace instead of turning His back on us.
Thanksgiving is a celebration of life. We don’t celebrate existence that ends when the body succumbs to disease, disaster, or deprivation, but rather the unextinguished life made possible by Jesus whose sacrifice for us purchased our abundance. Thanksgiving is a process of faith, not the belief that we are blessed because of food, clothing, or shelter—rather the confidence that an unseen Father will one day welcome His children into heaven. Thanksgiving is an act of worship, amplified beyond what we have, deserve or need, focused on the One who gets all the glory for what He did and does and will do! Something to think about . . . in reveration.
©2010 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)