The glossary in the back of my Bible defines thanksgiving as “recognizing and thanking the one who has provided a gift.” That’s pretty simple, isn’t it? I love Ecclesiastes 3:12-13.
“I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God.”
There’s such a temptation to fret and fume when things don’t go our way. This is especially true on holidays, when we strive to provide the best for our family and friends. But in the big picture it doesn’t matter if the stuffing tastes funny, or the pie crust is blackened around the edges.
Even if your family (which seems perfectly normal the rest of the year, right?) suddenly exhibits new and disturbing degrees of dysfunction, it all pales in comparison to the goodness and gift of God. Aunt Martha might be making snarky comments about the teenagers’ attire, or you may find yourself abandoned in the kitchen with a Cinderella-sized stack of dishes, but in the light of eternity those are petty annoyances which fade away.
Spend a minute or two in his presence today, and get his perspective when all you can see are the gnarled branches of your family tree. Then thank him, by faith, for his gift. Be happy, do good, eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all your toil!