Holiday ReflectionNov 27, 2021
We recently celebrated Thanksgiving in America. In my family, I was able to see my three daughters and we enjoyed our meal and time together. I decided it would be great to reflect on Thanksgiving. When I looked it up, it is a noun that means “the expression of gratitude”. So when you are having a moment of Thanksgiving, you are expressing gratitude. That, of course led to, “What is gratitude”?
Gratitude is also a noun. It is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. So you start out thankful, and then you have gratitude for the thing you’re thankful for, by which you have Thanksgiving.
This is an easy process when dealing with people. If someone is nice to you or does something nice, you are thankful (say thank you), you show your gratitude by expressing something specific about the gift or gesture, and your thanksgiving is by using the gift and letting that person know you enjoy it or reminding them how the gesture touched you. You may even tell others what they did for you, just to share how thoughtful, amazing, kind, generous, that person is. Depending on what kind of person you’re showing gratitude, you may return the gift with a gift for them.
What about with God?
Since we can’t physically see God, what is the process? It’s similar, so I am going to detail how I see it.
God blesses us. We are thankful. We tell Him so. We express our gratitude differently, though. God wants us to be ready to show our appreciation by using what He gave us for His glory. That looks different for different situations. In all of them, we have to be ready to tell people what He did for us. That means we’re telling the good, bad, and ugly of what it took to get where we are.
Whether it’s a spiritual gift, a home, a car, a baby, a spouse, a business, or any other thing God has wrapped up and dropped into your life, there is beauty in the process. That’s not to say every process was full of struggle, but if the process included an increase in faith or prayer, or you learning to meditate or to release control, all of that helps people get to know God, which is truly the goal.
We’re put on this planet to help people know God better through our journey and gifts. The best way to show gratitude to God for what He’s given is by sharing it so people know that God wants us to be happy and whole while we serve Him.
Once we’ve done that, thanksgiving is easy. It is literally the reflection of what you’ve just done in gratitude with a pure heart and steadfast mind. Thanksgiving is the internal result of gratitude in action.
What has God done for you lately? Who knows about it?
As you enter into service tomorrow, is Thanksgiving active in your heart?
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