Holidays usually arrive with fanfare. Plans are made, shared and canceled. Sentimental quotes about loving one’s family are plastered throughout social media (usually by people who post too many pictures of their grandkids anyway).
Articles recount 15 ways to de-stress during the holidays. Lists of blessings become outweighed by lists of preparations. There is traveling, baking and reminiscing to be done.
Amidst the hubbub, we are occasionally reminded to focus on the heart of the season. In that spirit, I half-heartedly looked up Bible verses about being thankful. Many were familiar. For instance, there was the verse I have mixed emotions about memorizing:
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (New International Version)
Yep. Pretty clear. Hard to obey completely, but easy to understand. I moved on to another verse.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
1 Chronicles 16:34
Another reason to be thankful- God is worthy to be thanked. His love is amazing.
One verse made all of my other thoughts go silent:
“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.”
Psalm 69:30 (Emphasis mine.)
Did you catch that? Giving thanks actually glorifies God.
I had never thought about thankfulness in that way. Choosing to give thanks glorifies God.
Building God’s kingdom brings Him glory. Obeying God gives Him glory. Praising God with songs also direct glory to Him. But another way to glorify the God of the universe is to give thanks.
So… those cutesy kid projects where children write what they are thankful for on some lopsided, construction-paper turkey brings glory to God.
Those times that family member is sappy, saying he or she is thankful for each and every person in the family, is glorifying to God.
Taking time to name our blessings out loud at the dinner table, even as the turkey and mashed potatoes get cold, is a way to glorify God.
Every time you choose to make the effort and be thankful, you bring God glory.
And God deserves so much glory. After all, His love endures forever. We can see His goodness in everything He made. He made good, light, joy, hope, eyes to see our blessings, mouths to tell of His wonders, breath to fill our lungs. God gave us blessings and He also gave us the capacity to realize everything is a blessing. He gave us the ability to be thankful.
Thanksgiving is not just a day to continue the tradition of “counting our blessings”. Thanksgiving is another opportunity to glorify God (even if the mashed potatoes get a little cold).