What does it mean to be truly thankful? It is an attitude of gratitude toward our Maker.
Gratitude is not passive. It is more than offering up a traditional prayer before you sit down to a feast, followed by an afternoon of watching football in front of the television. It is an acknowledgment that all that we have, our very existence, is a gift from God – a God who made man in His image in order to have communion with him.
Communion is more than a conversation. It is a relationship. A relationship requires communication to be sure, but have you ever tried to have communion with a rock?
It is impossible because communication is a two-way street. You can talk to that rock as long as you have breath, but that rock isn’t going to say anything in return. That’s how God must feel when He tries to get through to a person who is much too caught up in his own affairs to listen to his Maker.
Did you offer a pray or two today? Once you established that heavenly phone line and had your say, did you hang up on God before He could say anything in return?
Imagine how frustrating this must be for God. It would be like trying to communicate with a person who is hard of hearing with no hearing aid. The person nods, talks about the weather, or gives pat answers to questions that were not asked, but there is no real conversation going on.
If you feel something is missing this Thanksgiving, it is!
Each and every one of us was created with a God-shaped vacuum. You can’t fill it with food. You can’t fill it with football, sitcoms, movies, drugs or alcohol, gambling, politics or protest rallies.
You can’t fill it with things or even family or friends. Things and people will bring you momentary pleasure, but deep down inside there is a longing that can be filled with nothing less than a real relationship with the God who created you.
In Psalm 139:17, David writes: “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”
God communicates to the soul of man through the Spirit.
Has it been a long time since you have had a conversation with God? Have you ever had a real conversation with Him? Perhaps you don’t know Him at all. If so, then ask God to reveal Himself to you now, this very moment. In Luke 11:10, Jesus said, “For everyone who asks, receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
If this is your first real conversation with God, don’t forget the listening part. Ask Him to guide you on this journey. That is essential if you are to have true communion with Him.
Remember, a true attitude of gratitude is an active expression of your relationship with your Creator in all that you do.
If you are truly thankful for your food, you will share it.
If you are truly thankful for your home, you will open it to others.
If you are truly thankful for your children, you will discipline them with love.
If you are truly thankful for others, you will serve them.
If you are truly thankful for your blessings, you will spread them around.
If you are truly thankful for your intellectual gifts and talents, you will use them for good.
If you are truly thankful for having been born in a free country, you will be willing to fight in order to preserve this freedom and to extend it to others.
If you are truly thankful for the sacrifices made by our military and our forefathers, you will elect your representatives to Washington, D.C., and to our various state houses and city halls with great care – and you will invest the time it takes to hold them accountable.
If you are truly thankful for God’s protection and care on this country, you will preserve the right to acknowledge Him in the public square.
If you are truly thankful for God, you will take time to worship Him.
A true attitude of thanksgiving simply cannot be confined to the walls within your home, and it cannot be confined to just one day a year.