Posted on: Thu, 11/26/2009 - 04:11 By: Trey Rowzie

With the festivities of Thanksgiving day quickly approaching in the States, it reminds me of a Thanksgiving tradition that some families follow while around the dinner table; each telling one another what they are thankful for that year.

So, what is there exactly to be thankful for? Sure, we could all churn out rosy platitudes like so many dime-store greeting cards or email chain letters about how fortunate we are compared to others and that we should be thankful for the "simple" things in life like: food & water; shelter & security; friends & family. And sure, let's be thankful for all that. But beyond these creature comforts, doesn't there lurk that unseen something that we feel we are lack; just out of view and always unnamed? For some, this feeling is the constant source of their discontent; but for others, a springboard to great joy.

We are born incurably hungry and unsatisfied with this life; always looking to the next horizon for something to complete us. I'm reminded of an upbeat, online friend who once set their Facebook status as "Almost Happy." Now, there's book title for you! Even the United States Declaration of Independence defined one of mankind's inalienable rights as the pursuit of happiness; not the obtainment of it! So, if happiness is just some elusive carrot that we are all chasing, then how in the world can we be thankful?

Well, if we are talking about how to do that in and of ourselves, then I honestly can't tell ya. However, if we are willing to look outside our little world, we might just find the key to real thanksgiving. For example, Psalm 136 seems to be pointing us in the right direction. Haven't read it before? Here's a preview:

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

to Him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.

who by His understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.

who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.

who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.

the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.

the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

(Psalm 136:1-9 NIV)

"Wait a minute... I think I'm starting to see a pattern here."

Apparently ancient Hebrew didn't have exclamation marks. So, Bible scholars say that when God wanted to say something important, He usually repeated Himself (Ya know, my dad does that same thing to me ... it's usually because it doesn't sink in to my thick head the first twenty times or so). Now, with all the power of word processing at our fingertips, we might paraphrase those verses to say something like this: 

God is a really big God. He is good and has done some of the most amazing things for us. And most importantly...

HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


If we could have this one phrase carved in bold letters on our hearts... if we could dwell deeply on how this was demonstrated by Christ's death... if we could start living each day depending on this one fact... then (maybe, not first, but just a drop or two, then maybe a slight gush, but) in time we would be overtaken by a surprizing, overflowing flood of thanksgiving and praise that would spill out of our hearts and mouths and into the lives of all who surround us.

So, with that in mind, if you will... come gather around our virtual table; imagine the smell of roast turkey, fresh bread, cranberry sauce, and a multitude of casseroles; and tell us... what are you thankful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving,