2006-11-23 - The Lord Giveth
Thanksgiving Day 2006
Ps 118:29 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (NASB)
"The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
America is a blessed nation. We have an abundance of food, and resources that are enviable. We are not always the best stewards of these gifts, and make no mistake, they are gifts. The nation of Israel has been accused of being "a stiff-necked people" in the Old Testament. I dare say that we could be given the same critique. Even we who know Jesus as our Savior are often unintentionally ungrateful. We have so many things that we are angry when things break, or are not available to us. We are angry because we have come to expect those things will be there, and to some degree that we deserve them.
There is nothing wrong with having expectations, especially if they are expectations of ourselves. The Lord told His disciples at the Last Supper that the greatest among them would be the servant of all of them. He removed his robes and washed the feet of His disciples, placing Himself in the position of a servant as our example. Think about this. The Creator of the Universe stripped Himself naked, wrapped Himself in a towel and washed the feet of His creation. The irony is inescapable.
Do I expect us to do that? Not physically perhaps. But mentally and emotionally, we need to humbly recover the heart of a servant and learn to be grateful for the multiple blessings that have been poured out on us. Most of us have warm dry shelter, and food to eat and friends or family close by. We take medicine and cars and jobs, even jobs we don't like, for granted where we should be thanking God for His provision. We take our freedoms for granted. Most of us have never known life without them. It is easy to assume that something we have always had is a given and could never be taken away. Ask a soldier who was held as a Prisoner of War what it was like to not be free, if they are able to talk about what they went through. If they can't talk about it because it is too painful for them to even remember, that should speak volumes to you about their experience and how thankful we should be that he served us and the nation.
I speak to America first on this Thanksgiving day, hoping to encourage them to good works. I hope that my words do not fail to encourage others as well. If someone is eating alone tonight and you have the means, if the Lord has blessed you, please ask that lone person to join you. Look for ways to extend your blessings to others. Look at the things that are common, like light in our homes and stoves to cook on, that make our lives so much easier - and be thankful.
Lord, thank You for the myriad of blessings You have poured out on us. And forgive us for becoming blind and jaded to the fact that they are blessings. Rekindle the heart of a servant in us, that we would be Your representatives and ambassadors to those around us. Amen.
Grace and Peace,