Thankful for the Giver

It’s appropriate that we set aside a day for giving thanks, seeing as how we have so very much to be thankful for. But what bothers me is when grocery stores and TV stations show pictures of overflowing cornucopias with the words “Give Thanks.” For me, those two words beg the question, “To Whom?”

Scripture reminds us that

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights… – James 1:17

That means everything we are thankful for: food to eat, a roof over our heads, friends, health, and so on and on and on, comes from our heavenly Father, Creator of all. And along with being grateful for His gifts, it’s also appropriate to be grateful for the Giver of gifts.

Recently I have been using the question, “What do I appreciate most about God today?” to redirect my thoughts to dwell on God’s beautiful character. Here are a few of my top answers.

He is sovereign. Isaiah tells us that

The Lord of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be,
and as I have purposed, so shall it stand…”
– Isaiah 14:24

2015 has been a year of uncertainty and loss for our family as I transitioned out of ministry in February, then lost my mother in May and Sherri’s dad (after an extended illness) in September. In all honesty, there have been times we have wondered what God is up to. But as time passes, we are able to see more clearly the hand of God in timing things according to His wisdom. I’m thankful that He knows best, and that He is able to bring His perfect plans to pass.

He is generous. As I take inventory of my life, I am amazed at God’s over-the-top blessings. Just thinking about the food we have is astounding – God could have had us all live off tofu, but think of all the flavors and colors and textures and smells we have to choose from! What a kind-hearted and creative God to invent so many options to nourish us.

You care for the land and water it; 
you enrich it abundantly. 
The streams of God are filled with water 
to provide the people with grain, 
for so you have ordained it.
You drench its furrows and level its ridges; 
you soften it with showers and bless its crops. 
You crown the year with your bounty, 
and your carts overflow with abundance.
– Psalm 65:9-11 (NIV)

 

He is merciful. When I think of some of the bone-headed things I’ve done in my life (even just this week), I am amazed at God’s patience and forgiveness. I am deeply grateful for the sacrifice of Christ in my place – the sinless for the sinful – so that I might be rescued from shame and hopelessness, and that I might look forward to eternal life in His Presence.

So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. – Romans 9:16

 

So here’s an idea for your upcoming Thanksgiving week, to spur your thoughts beyond God’s gifts to the character of the Gift-Giver:

Ask yourself: “What do I appreciate most about God today?”

At our Thanksgiving meal, we always go around the table and share what we are most grateful for during the past year. If appropriate with your loved ones, you might add the question,

“What have you appreciated most about God this year?”

And while we’re on the topic, how would you answer that question right now? Spur our gratitude by sharing your answer below.

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