The American tradition of giving thanks for a day . . .
Thanksgiving shouldn’t be about one day on the calendar that gets lost in the shadow of feasts and football. You may have noticed that somehow our holiday got hijacked to become the forerunner to a shopper–stampede the following day. Don’t let it.
Giving thanks is about every day, the twenty-four hour gift that we won’t get to open again.
In – all – and every . . .?
The psalms are filled with praise and thanksgiving but also with despair.
Psalm 118:1-29 is a prayer of thanksgiving for the victory in David’s life. Many things happened between the dash from the first to the twenty-ninth verse that weren’t situations to be thankful for – it didn’t look like victory at all.
David didn’t simply write down the good. He also recorded the not-so-good. For him and for us.
Life is hard – but God is good.
Psalm 118 is a special portion of scripture in my personal history and has me pause and list graces in my journal. Names and dates written in a tear-stained margin of my Bible next to David’s words remind me of God’s goodness when critical times seemed to determine my gratitude. Times of family illness, fractured relationships, loss . . .
You may be in a place right now when you find it hard to give thanks in all things. It’s not dishonest to give thanks when we’re not feeling it because thankfulness is a choice. It’s like forgiveness, a choice we make with our heart until our feet catch up.
There is reason for gratitude when we sift through the rubble and find jewels of sovereignty working it out for good.
I know it’s easy to take life for granted when the sun comes up and we do what we do until the sun goes down and we did what we did. And before we know it, thanks got lost in the deep of the familiar.
We missed the twenty-four hour gift.
So, may it be a tradition to give thanks for a day – every day.