Now that we’ve entered the month of November, I’m thinking about Thanksgiving and the holidays. It seems fitting for the season to take several posts over the next two weeks to consider gratitude and thanks-giving.
When we think about Thanksgiving, it’s often in the context of giving God thanks for all of the blessings He has showered upon us. We know that every good and perfect gift comes from above. We can look around us and see many ways He has blessed us—our life and the breath in our lungs, family and friends, homes and food, the beauty of creation, good work for our hands and minds—and we must never forget all that He has done for us through the life and death of Jesus Christ. This is fitting and right and our constant duty—to give Him thanks.
But this thanksgiving to God should overflow into our interactions with other people. As Christians, we should be a thankful people, and those we constantly interact with should see the mark of gratitude on us. While we are giving thanks to the Lord, we should also turn to those beside us and express our thanksgiving for the role they play in our story.
I can say that I’m thankful to God for my supportive family, but do I take the time to tell my parents thank you for the ways they’ve unconditionally supported me, how they’ve always been my faithful cheerleaders, how they’ve sacrificed countless time and energy to shape me into who I am today?
I can say I’m thankful that the Lord brought me together with my husband Scott, but do I take the time to say thank you for the ways he selflessly provides for us, for caring for me through years of sickness, for his seemingly endless patience and grace towards me?
I can say I’m thankful for dear friends the Lord has brought into my life, but do I take the time to say thank you for the ways they have brought light and truth into my darkest days, the ways they’ve challenged and encouraged me to be a more faithful wife and Christ-follower, the ways they’ve brought joy and inspiration and rich life on the journey?
Living out thankfulness invites us to say “thank you” to each other. It can be easy to take the gift of another person for granted, to assume that they know how grateful you are. It can be easy to overlook the ways the Lord has used other people around us as the vessels and channels of his encouragement and blessing to us. I know I am incredibly guilty of this.
During this Thanksgiving season, I want to challenge us to express our gratitude to each other. Yes, we acknowledge God’s hand in every good gift, but may we not forget to express thanks to the human instrument He has used and is still using.
Who do you need to say “thank you” to? Would you take a moment this week to make a phone call or write a note expressing your gratitude?