Next week, Americans once again have the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. Personally, I appreciate what Thanksgiving means this year, above all other years. I find myself over 10,000 miles away from the United States in a foreign country, serving the Lord in Ministry in the Philippines. This is the first time in my 55 years that I have not been able to be home for Thanksgiving and I feel the loss deep within my heart. It is when we suffer the loss of those things we hold dear, that the true meaning of their worth is realized.

For most Americans, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to be reunited with family and friends who we don’t get to see as often as we would like. We will overeat, fall asleep on the couch and then eat some more. Football will be on the big screens of some homes. Early Christmas movies will light the screens of others. We will hug and smile and feel the warmth of loved ones while the crisp air outside bites against the window.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like the atmosphere of Thanksgiving and all that it promises. I just wonder, as we gather for our meal together and look into the eyes of people who mean so much, what will we be most thankful for? To whom will we direct those thoughts of gratefulness?

In the current difficult days that Americans find themselves, as jobs are uncertain,  putting food on the table is about all that many can manage. How far we seem to have have drifted from the course of our diligent and thankful ancestors. When the company of tall ships landed on the new soil of America, and the weary travelers unloaded their tattered belongings, they set foot for the first time on the shores of a new  uncertain land, filled with a burning hope that this new home would afford the freedoms previously denied. Half of all those who made the journey across the great expanse of blue ocean, did not survive the first winter here. Conditions were so difficult that many probably wondered why they had given up what they already had, in that nearly forgotten distant land.

Gathered around the meager sustenance they could manage, much of which was provided by their new native American friends, the mixed multitude of so many different souls bowed their heads and gave praise to God on that first Thanksgiving day.  They believed that the One who had created all things, had also provided all that they possessed. There was no doubt that there was a God, there was no uncertainty that His hand of providence had guided them. As the uncertainty of their future lingered in their weary minds, they were certain that just as God had brought them here, he would also provide all that they needed. They were certain of his grace, of his provision they were confident. With these principles firm, each sat down with a thankful heart to God and enjoyed it all, that first Thanksgiving day.

When I hear people wish each other “Happy Thanksgiving”, I wonder just who it is they are lifting their thanks to? Have they pondered the depth of their own spirit and realized that they were created by someone who obviously loves them very much? Have they taken each day with the perils, poisons and passions and laid their head on their pillow at night to feel the warmth of His presence with them through every step of their life?

When I look into the beautiful face of my sweet wife and my now grown sons, I see light and life springing forth from every blessing that I could have ever imagined or desired. I understand that whatever I have, the need of those things were known to God before He ever fashioned me, or provided so much for me, on that particular thanksgiving day. I have no other place to rest my Thanksgiving, but upon the lap of a Father who once gave me His only Son. A Father who looked down past the agelessness of eternity, into the window of time, and gazed at my face whispering,  ”Do you know how much I Love You?”

I am the beneficiary of His extravagant love and mercy. I have known the sensation of feeling my sins fly away and all guilt pass from me. I bask today in this pure joy because of His amazing love. I feel peace in my soul because He paid such a high price for my happiness.

It is to you my great and loving Father in heaven that I direct all my thankfulness and deep gratitude. Thank you for giving your precious Son Jesus and for displaying to me how deep, how wide, how unlimited your Love is for all of us.

It is to You that I am thankful, and it is for all that I have gained and lost and given away to others so that they could know your love, that I offer up my most sincere and loving thanks. All those who feel the same sense of deep gratitude may add their names to this list. We present these hearts full of praise to you Father, on this Thanksgiving day.

We are watching for you Jesus, come for us soon…

Rob Robinson

 

 


 

This entry was posted on Friday, November 18th, 2011 at 12:15 am and is filed under Encouragement, Holiday's Perspective, Jesus v. Everything, Rob Robinson, Thanksgiving. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.