A Time to be Thankful
Updated: Sep 30, 2022
These words seem especially true at this time of the year: "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork."
American author, Ellen White, helps us understand the meaning of this verse with these words that she wrote in her book called, “Steps to Christ”:
From the stars that in their trackless courses through space follow from age to age their appointed path, down to the minutest atom, the things of nature obey the Creator’s will.
And God cares for everything and sustains everything that He has created. He who upholds the unnumbered worlds throughout immensity, at the same time cares for the wants of the little brown sparrow that sings its humble song without fear … No tears are shed that God does not notice. There is no smile that He does not mark.”
Let’s explore this a bit.
The Bible tells us that the earth was without form, and void and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.”
There are many reasons why the creation of light was important, but did you know that our eyes can’t see colour without light?
Think of all the colours that we see in the fall: the orange of the pumpkin; the golden grains; the changing colours of the leaves. Every season has its colours: the varied greens of the new blades of grass and the budding leaves of spring; the blue hydrangeas and the pink petunias of summer; the white blanket of snow in winter.
Every time we see a colour, it is a reminder that God created light.
Every time we see a lily, let’s remember this:
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you?
And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind for all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father in heaven knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
Every time we brush or comb our hair, let’s remember this:
Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore. You are of more value than many sparrows.
The apostle Paul reminded us that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. This means that every time we face a challenge, we can be strengthened too!
Every time. It’s every time because God never leaves us nor forsakes us. Over and over again, He keeps His promises to us.
At this time of year, we are thankful for the harvest, but as we see the devastation happening around the world, let’s remember to thank God for keeping His promises.
Here’s a story told by Donner Atwood.
One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to run to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, "Jump! I'll catch you." He knew the boy had to jump to save his life.
But .. All the boy could see was flame and smoke and blackness. We can imagine how afraid he was to leave the roof.
His father kept yelling: "Jump! I will catch you." But the boy cried, "Daddy, I can't see you." The father shouted, "But I can see you and that's all that matters.
Isn’t this like our relationship with God?
We can’t physically see Him, but, by faith, we can believe that He sees us, and cares about us just as the Bible tells us. By faith, we can believe every promise that His word makes to us.
Let’s start with this promise of peace.
These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Today and every day, let us be thankful for the unmeasurable love of God that Jesus has revealed to us.
I found a story that gives us a practical way that we can express our thankfulness all year. The author’s name wasn’t given, but here's what she wrote:
My mother always had a slip of paper fastened to the inside of a cabinet door in the kitchen. It was near the sink where she would regularly see it. At the top of the page were written the words, "Lest I forget."There was never a kindness extended to her or our family that was not found listed on her paper.
Each year, around the time of Thanksgiving, she would in some way once again let the person or persons involved know how grateful she was for their kindness.
Mother often quoted this reminder to us, "Don't remember the kindness you do for someone else, but always remember the kindness someone does for you.
Imagine how long our lists would be if every day we made note of the promises God is keeping in our lives and the kindness, the mercy and the grace that He extends to us through the people around us.
May God bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace no matter where you are or what you are doing today. Amen.