It’s not hard to find things to be thankful for in our country. There’s the bounty of the land, the system of law and order that ensures peace, the potential for so much prosperity. All we have to do is stop and look around us to find many things for which to be thankful.
This year our family has had a few special things added to our list. First of all, the arrival of our first grandchild, Thea Wells. What a delight it has been to watch her grow and watch the delight her parents are taking in her. Then, the relatively gentle passing of my dear mother-in-law into the realms of glory. We are so thankful she did not suffer or linger long when the time came. The retirement of my husband after 30+ years in pastoral ministry. The retirement party held by our church was a special joy. Then the arrival of a refugee family, whom, after three years of interceding, we were able to receive safely into our home.
Yes, it’s been a momentous year with much to be thankful for. Perhaps the greatest blessing of all, we are aware of the One to whom that thanks is due.
I recently heard a man read a story in which he expressed his thankfulness, yet the entire tale centred around the fact that he rejected the One to whom he could have been giving his thanks. It made me sad to realize there was a huge lack in the joy he could have, if he knew his creator and provider. It is good and natural to be thankful but when we have no knowledge of God, that thankfulness is empty.
God is the provider of all that we can and should be thankful for, in the good times and the bad, in the days of blessing and the days of testing.
Abraham was shown the truth of this in the book of Genesis, chapter 22, when God asked him to take his only son, Isaac, up onto Mount Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice. Though Abraham knew that Isaac was the “son of promise,” the son through whom all the promised blessings would come, he obeyed his God. He raised the knife above Isaac, but God stopped his hand and showed him the ram he was to offer instead.
Genesis 22:14 says, “Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (or Jehoveh Jireh, which means “the LORD will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
And James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Because we know the God who provides we are able to take great joy in giving thanks. My prayer is that you may know the God from whom all blessings flow.
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High (Psalm 7:17).