We are about to celebrate Thanksgiving. Over the next month you will be continually asked what you are thankful for. While I think that is a good practice and question, I also think that it falls short of what thanksgiving actually is. The real question we need to ask ourselves is an age old one: Why? Why are we thankful? The Scriptures speak a lot about thanksgiving. To the Romans Paul says, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.” Paul says to the Corinthians, “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus…” He says to the Ephesians, “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…” To the Philippian Church, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy…” To the Colossian Church, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you…” We could go on and on and on, but I think we get the point. The answer to why we are thankful for things is simply God. On Thanksgiving do your very best to remember what you are thankful for, but do not stop there. Remember the why and give thanks to God for doing those things whatever they may be.
This past year a lot has happened in my personal life, and I can truly say that I am so thankful for the elders, deacons, staff, and covenant members of Restoration Church. I could not imagine going through the anxiety, identity crisis, and the full experience of infertility without you. I thank God for bringing Kari and me here to Iowa, for being a part of starting His work at Restoration, for bringing all of you into our lives, and for bringing us to this moment. To put this in Paul’s terms: I thank my God, the creator of all, for every remembrance of you. Knowing that for whatever circumstance comes, you will be there for me to strengthen my faith, to counsel me, to love me, and to teach me.
May the God of grace, peace, truth, and love be with you this holiday season. And have a happy Thanksgiving. Remember what you are thankful for and why you are thankful. Thank God for all things.