Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re all having a great day! Today is a day where we get to celebrate all the things that we’re thankful for each year. I love this holiday and season. It’s my favorite time of the year. However, this day each year always presents itself with one question.. Are We Thankful Yet?
Bryanna, what do you mean? Am I thankful yet? Of course I am! Look at me, with my turkey and dressing (or stuffing, whichever you prefer), OF COURSE I’m thankful! Are you? Are WE? Are we truly thankful for what we have? Or are we only there for the food or maybe you get gifts at Thanksgiving from family you won’t see at Christmas. Is there anything wrong with indulging at Thanksgiving or receiving these gifts from your family? Absolutely not.. These things are fun! Part of the holiday spirit, but if your true mindset about Thanksgiving isn’t truly Thanks-Giving.. Then there’s a problem.
There are plenty of people in the world that the only things that they have to be thankful for are the fact that they’re still breathing and the scrappy torn up clothes they have on their backs. They don’t have any family, no one to love them. They may not even have any friends, and to them, Thanksgiving may be just another day that they wake up, fight to live another day in a third world country where they are oppressed by their government and don’t know if they have enough food to get through the night, much less the week. They don’t get a huge spread at Thanksgiving with a huge family that loves them and supports them through the struggles in their life. They are all on their own, and the worst part is, sometimes these people are no older than seven years-old. They’re living on the street in some third-world country fighting for survival and literally starving to death in their streets. People see them, but they can’t help them, because they don’t know if they have enough food to sustain their family and they surely don’t have enough money to buy more food to support an orphan! Maybe they’d once been an orphan and they’d barely pulled through life on the street and now they work selling vegetables from their garden to sustain their families.
Maybe these people aren’t from a third-world country. Maybe they’re living under bridges in our neighborhoods, sleeping on our city benches. Maybe they don’t have a job and they’ve lost their homes and they’re dragging a two year-old with them, hopelessly looking for a job to feed him. They’re living from shelter-to-shelter and meal-to-meal; they search endlessly for a job, but their history with drug abuse keeps them from getting a job. They’ve been clean a year and a half, but their past is still hung over their head with a constant reminder each time they go in for an interview. Maybe Mom does have a job, three of them actually, two in the week and one on the weekend. She’s never at home though and big brother is fighting to feed baby as mom does her best to bring in the money to support them. It’s Thanksgiving at their house too and this is the first night that mom’s been home in a long time, they’re eating pizza tonight, a rare treat in this house. It’s special to them to get to eat pizza with mom, because they know after the holiday it’s back to work all the time just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, because that’s how it has to be when dad left mom and she’s all alone.
These are the people that we should remember when we look around the table this Thanksgiving and question why Grandma had to get us underwear and socks this year instead of what we asked for or why Aunt Susie’s pie had to be pumpkin, she knows we hate pumpkin pie. There are so many people out there who celebrate Thanksgiving every day when they wake up to see the light again, because they truly didn’t know if tomorrow was coming for them.
I don’t mean to sound like a party-pooper this Thanksgiving at all! In fact.. If you fall into the sad category of non-thanksgivers then we, or really you, can change that! It’s simple honestly. Let’s think about all the things that we have. Start with the things you can see.. Your family for instance, your house, your clothes, your friends, maybe you have a car, what about your pets? Well there you go, that’s already a lot of things.. What about your blankets on your bed or maybe you have a favorite pair of shoes or you like to play an instrument? Well that adds a lot more to that list! What about the things you can’t see? Like.. the air you breathe everyday? Or the love that your family gives you? What about your talents and abilities (even if you like to keep them hidden away), and we can’t forget the biggest thing that we should be thankful for this season, that “God gave His only son that whosoever believes in Him shall have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
See, we already have plenty to be thankful for this holiday season and I challenge you to remember these things as we transition smoothly from Thanksgiving to Christmas overnight (unless you’re me and it’s been Christmas since October 1st haha). I truly hope that this post wasn’t too overwhelming, but rather that it simply reminded us how much we truly have to be thankful for.
Be His Hands and Feet
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4