Sometimes it was painfully awkward; sometimes it was refreshing, and sometimes it was just a touch weird. Yet, we did it. Each Thanksgiving after the pumpkin pie had been put away, all five of us Witkowski kids would go around the table and list the one thing we were thankful for. (The first kid always had it easy. “I’m thankful for my awesome family.” Shocker, right?) Though I wasn’t always a fan of the tradition as a kid, I’ve come to realize that we need to regularly thank our creator. And our thankfulness needs to go beyond a material goods. We need to realize that God’s favor is not tied to stuff, health, or human relationships.
This is hard for us to grasp. From the time we start praying, we tend to focus on stuff. Think about how most young kids pray. “God, thank you for mommy, thank you for our dog Calvin, and thank you for my toy helicopter Aunt sally sent me.” Our thankfulness is often determined by what God has done for us lately.
But God’s definition of love is not tied to today’s stuff; its tied to him. We read in Romans 5:8 that, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The best thing Christ has done for you and me is to bring us to God. Our relationship with him is the source of joy, life, and peace. Regardless of what we and our kids have experienced this year, we can be thankful. We can praise Jesus even if we have lost our mom, buried the family dog, and totaled our car because none of those things can separate us from the love of God! Our thankfulness is tied to cross. Let’s start abounding with it 365 days a year!
Does your family have a Thanksgiving Day traditions? I would love to hear about them!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/61525950@N02/10874493605″>Pillsbury Thanksgiving Table2</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>