November has arrived, and with it the holiday season. As we approach Thanksgiving, we are often asked to “count our blessings.”
It seems to me that giving thanks—for anything—is good for us. It is an excellent exercise for a child of God: it shifts our focus away from ourselves and toward truths that are bigger than we are. It limits grumbling and complaining. Indeed, the Apostle Paul repeatedly exhorts us to rejoice, to give thanks. And while counting our blessings is a great start, I would encourage us to go a step further and focus our gratitude on the Giver of all good gifts and the Redeemer of all pain, suffering, and hardship.
I am truly grateful for my family, friends, pets, home, health, computer, i-phone…. It is appropriate for me to be so. If I stop there, though, my attitude of gratitude will be precariously dependent on my possessions and circumstances. Paul and other writers of Scripture urge us to rejoice in the Lord and to view trials and suffering as opportunities for God to do His good work in us and through us.
Have you ever offered a special gift to a loved one as a gesture of deep love, affection, and esteem only to have the gift received without the personal connection that the gift signified? Such a response is disappointing and disheartening. The joy of giving is an expression of the joy of relationship, of knowing and loving one another. Please consider with me that God gives us good gifts as a token of His deep love for us. If we give thanks for the gifts without encountering the Giver in a deep and personal way, we miss the point and, more significantly, the opportunity to draw near to God in faith and praise.
During this wonderful season of thanks, may we count our blessings in our Daddy’s lap as we delight in Him and He delights in us.