Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. This is my oldest daughter's favorite holiday. It's not because this ushers in the Christmas season, or the football, or the change in the weather. It's the green bean casserole. She pines for it every year and will only eat her Aunt Kelly's recipe. You can't fool her either. I once tried using healthier ingredients. I used organic, fresh green beans and you would have thought we set the Mayflower on fire! Thanksgiving was RUINED! Every year I am reminded of how horrible it was, and to "just let Aunt Kelly do the green bean casserole." But that's what Thanksgiving is about, isn't it? No, not the side dishes, but tradition. Family traditions are sacred, and to my sweet girl that includes green bean casserole.
There is nothing new about giving thanks. It's as sacred as the traditions each family holds dear. Giving thanks isn't meant for one day. It is meant for everyday, for extended periods. But how that looks for each of us is as different as how we dress our turkey. Luckily, there's no one way to give thanks. God listens and loves all the ways we praise Him- we just need to do it.
The Psalms are loaded with reminders of how and why to praise our Father, but let's start with Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. FOREVER! Not just when we are being "good", but forever His love endures. That includes the times we wish things were different, when we have ill-will toward others, when we are less than generous! I don't know about you, but knowing that He loves me FOREVER, gives me such joy. Now that is something to praise! Need more? How about Psalm 118:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Yep, you read that right. Sometimes we need reminded. When our eyes wander from Him, when the enemy whispers those lies, HIS FAITHFUL LOVE ENDURES! Give thanks, sing it out! You are so loved! But wait! Psalm 136- go read it. No, seriously- go now, I will wait...read the whole thing. How many times do we need to be told? Again and again- and our praise should match it! Verse 23 reminds us He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever. In verse 24 He saved us from our enemies. His faithful love endures forever. Perfect for Thanksgiving, verse 25 says He gives food to every living thing. His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 136 ends as it begins: Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.
Tomorrow as you are cooking, traveling, playing games, watching football, and yes, eating green bean casserole, give thanks. When the table is cleared, when the dishes are stacked, when your belly is full- remember who provides. Give thanks to the one who is faithful, His love endures forever. Always. Everyday. He doesn't need reminded. Give thanks for that.
Father, in all things we give thanks. You are our provider and we praise you for all of the blessings you pour out on us each day. You are faithful Lord, even when we do not deserve it. Your love endures and we are grateful. On Thanksgiving we are filled with gratitude. Help us to maintain our praise, to faithfully give you thanks- just as your love endures for us. In Jesus' name, Amen.