Giving Thanks Feels Overrated!

Harvesting canola at Three Hills, AB (November 2018)

Harvesting canola at Three Hills, AB (November 2018)

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.(1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, ESV)

As we come into Thanksgiving weekend, I have a variety of thoughts going through my head.

This holiday began as a post-harvest expression of appreciation to God for the crops and supplies He supplied to meet people’s needs in the coming year. It came after the harvest was over (after the garden produce was collected and put away for the winter, after the field crops were harvested). While many of our garden produce is already in, the grain harvest is not yet done; farmers often amaze me at their ability to be thankful even before the harvest is in (having snow this morning does not make that easy).

For many, Thanksgiving is a family holiday where we enjoy time with our family. Many come together to spend time together and to eat out of the plenty God has blessed us with. I hope relationships are enjoyed and deepened.

However, there are also many who struggle to find reason for being thankful; they are alone or sick or struggling. This is also a season to share, to reach out, to minister to others (not out of pity but out of genuine care). As we enjoy all that God has blessed us with, how can we also use it to serve others?

Thanksgiving is not a Christian holiday but it is rooted in Christian faith. The Lord has called us to be thankful in all circumstances, a call that I find incredibly challenging. There are many days where thankfulness feels far from me, and yet I work to turn myself / to open my eyes to the many blessings of the Lord’s presence in my life. Thankfulness expresses trust.

Ryan van KuikComment