“O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever!” (Psalm 118:1).
I trust you had a good Thanksgiving Day.
I know. For most of us, things were different this year. The Kim’s normally head up to Bothell for Thanksgiving. Typically there are five to seven families and all our kids gathered for a Thanksgiving feast. This is one of the highlights of the year as the cousins get together with our families.
This year. It was just our immediate family minus Kaitlin who is teaching in Houston, and who chose not to come up because of covid.
As I write this on Thanksgiving Day, I am reminded of several truths.
First, the phrase, “give thanks” is in the imperative. I find it interesting that the call to give thanks in both the New and the Old Testament are normally written in the imperative. Isn’t it strange to command someone to “give thanks”? Isn’t being thankful something one feels and then expresses gratitude by giving thanks?
That’s a good observation. That’s the way “thanking” works for us. We feel and then we express gratitude.
Notice that the text calls us to “give” thanks not “feel” thanks. This is important. A year like 2020 makes it difficult to always “feel” thankful. In fact, there have been lots of occasions in which there was not much to feel thankful for. It would be strange to ask us to feel thankful when we’re going through hard situations. But that’s not what the text calls for. The text calls us to “give” thanks.
The reason why the Biblical text calls us to “give” thanks is because God is the God “who brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Deuteronomy 5:6), and because of all that God has done in Jesus Christ for us. That’s the foundation of gratitude. We are to give thanks because of all that God has already done for us.
As I was doing my daily devotionals, I wrote down things I was particularly thankful for in 2020 and I invite you to do the same today. Here are the things I was most thankful for 2020.
- For God being my God and Savior. I can’t imagine how anyone can live through life without God. What would be the point? All this living, striving, struggling, toiling? If this world is all there is what is all this for? It would be so pointless. I thank God for being my God and Savior because life here would be dreadfully meaningless without God.
- I thank God for my family. I am thankful that we are healthy and we all have the means to take care of ourselves. Not everyone is as fortunate. I am truly grateful for all my family.
- I thank God for the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace family. I am so thankful for you. You are an amazing church. Not every church gives, shares, loves, and cares as you do. You are remarkable. We have managed to increase God’s reach and impact through 2020. Most churches are struggling and managing. The Little Church and Lakewoodgrace continues to innovate and look for new ways to increase God’s kingdom impact. That’s awesome! I love serving our amazing God with you.
No. 2020 has not gone the way I had hoped.
But 2020 has shown how amazing our God is and how resilient, open, and innovative the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace is.
Yes! 2020. I thank God for you!