When I was growing up on the farm, the only benefit Thanksgiving provided my siblings and me was being out of school. However, being out of school meant work on the farm. Our family always worked on Thanksgiving Day. Somehow, my Dad never received the memo about Thanksgiving Day being a labor free day. Dad always saw that day as a great opportunity to get much needed work done in the crop. So, the Thanksgiving holiday didn’t provide any real special break from the routine for our family. My Mom fixed a special meal for dinner ~ on the farm dinner was at noon!
Thankfully, that all changed as the years unfolded. Now, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! One of the reasons is that it provides a great opportunity for our family to be together. Another reason is due to its simplicity! There is a great absence of commercialism and busyness. The third reason and the best reason for it being a favorite, speaks to the purpose for the holiday ~ to give thanks. Hopefully, as Christians, our gratitude stretches far beyond the holiday of Thanksgiving!
For Christians, our spirit of gratitude should permeate our hearts! In I Thessalonians 5:18, the Bible says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Gratitude is the difference between someone who is a grumbler and someone who expresses great joy! Is there anyone who likes to be around a grumbler; someone who complains and gripes, groans and moans? Anyone? Unless they are of similar nature! But, we really like being around people who are joyful! People who are joyful attract other people!
Grateful people acknowledge that everything they have comes from God! Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.”
Grateful people trust God’s providence that He will bring good out of everything, including the terrible things that happen in life. (Romans 8:28). All that farm work on Thanksgiving Day, and every other day, sure made for a close family; I am most thankful!
Grateful people visit with those who are less fortunate and minister to them. Grateful people count their blessings regularly and thank God for those blessings! Grateful people refuse, absolutely refuse, to complain, gripe, or grumble! A grateful heart brings honor and glory to God!
As Zella & I count our blessings, serving here at Tates Creek with you all is right at the top. Thank you so much for the opportunity and the privilege of allowing us to serve our Lord with each of you! Happy Thanksgiving!
Tommy Simpson, Senior Minister