In Everything Give Thanks
Crisp and clear, the cool autumn air made me grateful for my wool sweater. Like so many other years, we were loading the car for a road trip that would end in a loud and lively dining room with our extended family for Thanksgiving.
The aroma of all things “Thanksgiving” wafted through the air; cinnamon, cloves, sage, thyme, turkey, and yeast bread could be smelled on the front porch. Hugs, giggles, and the thunder of little feet greeted us when we reached our destination. Though these visits were brief, they are a treasure among our family memories. It was always important to try to be with family, to give thanks together for the blessings of this year and years past.
In years when being with family for Thanksgiving was impossible, we still gave thanks. Our first five years as a family were some of those years. Stationed far away from family, we celebrated Thanksgiving with young, single Marines in a Chapel, young families and children, and seasoned adults who were without their now adult children. We joined the others who also found themselves far from home on Thanksgiving day.
There was room at the huge table for anyone with an appetite. The same familiar smells and sounds accompanied that Thanksgiving meal, Close friends that day felt much like family. We had all known God’s goodness and didn’t hesitate to give thanks.
Perhaps these years were more like the original Thanksgiving meal. It’s almost unfathomable that early settlers could find something to give thanks for. They were far from home, family and friends. Destitute, many times cold, and without any luxuries, survival was their concern. But with hard times their reality, they shared a meal with the express reason of giving thanks to God for His goodness. They understood that in good or bad times, they were to give thanks.
Penning these words from prison, the Apostle Paul said, “I’m not saying this because I need anything, for I have learned how to be content in any circumstance. I know the experience of being in need and of having more than enough; I have learned the secret to being content in any and every circumstance, whether full or hungry or whether having plenty or being poor. I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength (Philippians 4:11-13, CEB).
In everything, give thanks!