What is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday of the year! I have no shame in saying that. It doesn’t get the amount of credit that it should. It’s like we all want to skip straight from decorating and getting candy for Halloween, to Black Friday sales and decorating for Christmas. I literally saw Christmas stuff on store shelves two days before Halloween and people were putting up trees within days later.

Thanksgiving is one of the very very few holidays where no presents are involved. It’s the one holiday where we don’t stress over decorating the house with as many trees and decorations as possible. It’s the only holiday where we are focused on FAMILY. We spend the day smelling a house full of delicious Fall smells, play games and have conversations with cousins, siblings, grandparents, parents, spouses, children, eating around a table full of so much food that it takes several days to finish eating.

But the best part of what makes my favorite holiday so special to me, is telling each other what we are thankful for and praying to God with hearts full of thanksgiving. My family has always sat at the table and before we eat or pray, we tell one thing we are thankful for. Then we pray and thank the Lord for everything that he has blessed us with. But I have just one question.

How often to spend Thanksgiving thanking God for the bad times? For the times he has put you in stressful situations? For the times that you spent days, weeks, or even months crying about something bad or sad that has happened to you?

I can tell you that, speaking for myself, as much as I thank God for the situations he gave me to spend learning from, I don’t thank him nearly as much as I do for the good, awesome things he does for me. So this Thanksgiving, when we sit around the table and tell what we are thankful for, I’m going to say and remember all of those hard times he gave Jake and I and was right there going through them with me. He deserves praise and thanks for the times that he gives us to learn from. If it wasn’t for him giving those to us, we wouldn’t be where or who we are as this exact moment.

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:15-16