Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Is Your Thanks-Giving Conditional?

I ask this question because I ask myself that question, is my thanksgiving conditional? I told my mom this past weekend that I was going to write a post asking, Can you give thanks without Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is a holiday with a 1,001 traditions and likely 989 of those are related directly to food. And the remaining are probably indirectly related to food: who you eat your feast with; where you eat your feast--whose house or which restaurant; what time of day you eat--lunch or evening; where do you sit--living room, dining room, kids table; what you watch on TV before you eat--as the meal is being prepared--what you watch during the feast in some cases, what you watch afterwards when you're absolutely stuffed.

At Thanksgiving and also at Christmas, we're reminded in a thousand different ways that food is one of the primary love languages. We show love by eating food together. We show love by cooking and baking. We show love by sharing recipes. We show love by sharing memories, telling stories, and teaching. We show love by eating what has been prepared.

No doubt about it, Thanksgiving is taken for granted. It is easy to forget--we want to forget in fact--that our Thanksgivings change year to year. For some Thanksgiving may be bittersweet because of who is no longer there to share in our celebrations. For others Thanksgiving may be bittersweet because of dietary restrictions.

When do you give thanks? Why do you give thanks? Is your giving thanks conditional to your circumstances and situations?

Can you imagine Thanksgiving day without the (traditional) feast? Is the feast the most important part of the day--the reason for the season?

I don't have to imagine Thanksgiving day without the feast. I have lived Thanksgiving day without the feast. Never again will I have the traditional Thanksgiving meal. (I can't eat eggs, dairy, or gluten.)

But never is a special word to me, more special than I ever thought possible. You see, my brother in law reminded me that never is not really never. It's just this side of eternity.

God has blessed me. I see God's blessings even in my food allergies. Perhaps even especially in my food allergies.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
I trust God all the more knowing that he is good; he is faithful; he is loving; he is gracious. The past few years have led me from head-knowledge to heart-knowledge. He is good to me. He is faithful to me. He is loving to me. He is gracious to me.

Both families and food are gifts of God, given to us by God to be enjoyed and celebrated. We are to be thankful for the blessings God has given us.
In creation, God made food first, then made creatures with an appetite. In paradise, hunger is always satisfied. ~ Rondi Lauterbach
Yet there is more to life than eating and drinking. We were made to know God, to be in relationship with God. We were made to feast on God and with God. We were made to glorify God and enjoy Him FOREVER.

Feasting on the truth of God's Word--no matter our circumstances--makes for unconditional thanks-giving.
I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne ~ Chris Tomlin
The sun comes up
It's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name
You're rich in love
And You're slow to anger
Your name is great
And Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons
For my heart to find ~ Matt Redman
God you give and take away
Oh you give and take away
But my heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name ~ Matt Redman
Don't let physical blessings of food and feast blind you to the overflowing, often overwhelming, spiritual blessings that are ours in Christ. This November, may you taste and see that God is good. (Psalm 34:8) May you join with David in saying, "LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup. (Psalm 16:5)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Kelly-Belly said...

I really love this post. Thank you for re-directing us. We need to be steered back to the good places sometimes. :)