By Joanna Pierce
Leaves continue to change to amber yellow, sun-fire and pumpkin orange, and trickle down from the trees with the slightest gust of wind. Entering into the month of November, the holiday season starts to creep in us. With the crisp crunch of the leaves under our feet, and the soft bite of the wind at our cheeks, we hear a symphony of reminders in every sound caroling to us, Thanksgiving is coming.”
Many of us will begin an array of activities: meal planning, shopping, decorating, volunteering, etc. In the onslaught ol activities, w e are reminded of the purpose of the season: to be thankful.
However, we grumble about the ever-changing number of guests that are attending Thanksgiving dinner and become stressed with the constant invites that till up our calendars. In the grand scheme of things, our behavior in this “season” doesn’t change; we just move forward in the same manner s e always do, dealing with the “trials” of day-to-day life.
If we’re honest with ourselves, this happens to all of us, even though we try to display a heightened spirit of “Thanksgiving during this season. But, we forget that Thanksgiving isn’t just a one-time-a-year event. We lose sight of what “Thanksgiving” is all about. If we stop and think about it, we can ask ourselves, “Am I really thankful?” Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5:20: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (KJV).
According to Scripture, we are to be thankful for all things and to be thankful all the time. So, when culture identifies a time of year for us to be “thankful” (e., Thanksgiving), the Bible tells us that we aren’t to be thankful just once a year. As God’s children, we’re called to live a life according to His Word-24 hours a day, 365 days a year—and we’re to be thankful during that entire time!
It’s hard not to get caught up in the trials and distractions of life, which can easily wear us down and make us feel unthankful at times. But, when we turn our eyes to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), we can easily see how thankful we can be!
It’s not hard to be thankful to the One who: supplies our every need (Philippians 4:19), is our Savior (Titus 2:13), is our hope (I Timothy 1:1), and is our everything—the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Because of our intimate relationship with Jesus, we have the privilege of being thankful all the time and for everything He has done for us.
You might be asking yourself, “How can 1 demonstrate my thankfulness” or “when can I be thankful?..
Scripture tells us to rise early to commune (meet with) the Lord (Psalms 63:1). When we approach the throne of God and desire to be in His presence and speak with Him, we do
so through prayer.
Psalm 100:4 says to “enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.” In Matthew 6:9 when Jesus explains to Ilk disciples how to pray, He begins by praying: “Our Father which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name… (KJV).
Through these Scriptural examples, we know that we should begin our prayer with thanksgiving and praise to God! By rising early in the morning, we can start off our day by thanking and praising Jesus for everything that He is, what He has done, what He’s doing, and what He’s going to do! When we begin our day by meditating on how thankful we are for what God has done and praise Him for it, we establish a mindset and manner of thanksgiving for ourselves to abide in throughout the remainder of the day. Thanksgiving and praise will “set the stage” for every action and thought—thankfulness!
Through prayer in our method of beginning with thanksgiving
and praise—we can fulfill Ephesians 5:20 by being thankful all the time, for all things. Because we start our day in prayer and tap into the presence of God, throughout our day God’s presence will be a constant reminder to us to be thankful. We won’t be able to stop thanking and praising Him all the day long! His praise shall continually be in our mouths (Psalm 34:1)!
Having a prayer life and becoming more thankful is achievable for us all! If you aren’t accustomed to praying, just start! It will make a world of difference in your life. If you don’t have time for a long prayer session in the morning, Just pray for a few minutes!
I encourage you, dear reader, to let this season be a fresh start of your daily “Thanksgivings.” Let it be a turning point for your daily mindset, commitment to prayer, and daily act of thanksgiving. Whether it be small or great, remember we can be thankful at all times and for all things. And, most
importantly, remember who to be thankful to and for Jesus.