Jen’s Gem: Thank God for Who He Is!
Thanksgiving Day marked the three-year anniversary of the passing of my Dad. Amidst the dinner preparations, memories of him floated in and out of my head. My mind raced back to my childhood when the day was filled with family members, way too much food, and belly laughs that could be heard for miles.
I’m thankful for these memories. I’m thankful that I can look back on these times that shaped my life in more ways than I can count. While this year’s celebration was a stark difference to those of yesteryear, I was grateful to have friends and family around the table, healthy and safe.
Isn’t it odd how our gratitude has been transformed this year? Perhaps in the past we celebrated a job promotion or raise. Maybe our kids got a sports trophy or other award. These days, we are grateful for finding essentials in the grocery store.
I’m re-reading the Book of Acts in my daily Bible study. If you are unfamiliar with this content, it outlines the actions (“acts”) of the apostles after Jesus had been crucified. It speaks about how they mourned His death but rejoiced in His resurrection. It describes the transformation of the apostles Peter, Paul, and others in the early days of the church and their zeal to tell everyone they knew about Jesus.
These mighty men of God went about teaching, preaching, and performing miracles – just as Jesus did. The lame walked. The blind saw. The unbelievers believed. In fact, one man named Simon – a magician, was so taken by the apostles and their healing powers, he offered them money for it! That had to have been an interesting moment.
The people who were healed were so thankful, many of them sold everything they owned and joined with the apostles. They shared their stories with others and continued the work that Jesus told them to do, to spread the Gospel, the Good News, to the world.
There’s not too much good news in our world today. One only has to open a news feed or daily paper to see that life on planet earth is cray cray. When things are swirling outside at such a feverish pace, this is when I draw near to God and give thanks.
My thanksgiving is not just for what God has done for me, but it also includes giving thanks for who He is. A God of love, mercy, and grace that forgives us no matter what dumb thing we did. A God who protects us as we go about our day and guides us as we make decisions. A God who heals our broken hearts and broken bones. I could go on and on.
While there was no Thanksgiving Day back in Jesus’ time, I suspect the apostles were very grateful that they’d met Jesus. I bet they were thankful for witnessing all the miracles, the healings, and the amazing sermons Jesus gave as He went about “his Father’s business.”
I have read Acts several times and each time I read it, I learn something new. A previously overlooked nugget pops out and I’m dumbfounded that I never saw it before. I’m beyond grateful for these bits of revelation because they show me more about who God is and how much He loves us.
In these trying times, it’s important to remember God’s love. It’s important to give thanks for the blessings He has given us to help us navigate these days, whether those blessings are as simple as finding a parking spot or being protected from illness.
God likes when we give thanks. He’s a fan of gratitude. Take a moment right now to thank Him for your life. If you woke up this morning and are reading this, He has a purpose for you today. He has a plan for you. And guess what? It’s a good plan. In fact, it’s a great plan and it’s just for you because He loves you.
“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 NKJV)
Don’t save your thanks for one day a year. Give thanks daily to the One who deserves our thanks.