Giving Thanks to the Lord

20171122_153532-1Christian and Bridget and the grandkids arrived this afternoon for our Thanksgiving Day celebration tomorrow. This is their first time to be in Fort Collins since our little dog, “Andy” had to be put to sleep. I have him buried in the garden so, we decided to make a maker for his grave.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1 NLT

Here we are marking another Thanksgiving holiday and the Christmas season. This time of the year is marked by nostalgic remembrances, gatherings with family and friends and reflections on the past year.

We truly have much to be thankful “for.” In the midst of the political tensions it is easy to look at a certain class or race as being “privileged.” The reality is when you look at the world in which we live, everyone who lives in the United States can be viewed as being “privileged” compared to most of the nations in the world.

I realize that I have much to be thankful for. This week at our City Council meeting a tribute was given to Northern Colorado Acute Hospital in recognition of their national achievement in excellence in providing respiratory care services. The tribute listed several acute medical conditions that they treat. As the list was read I found myself mentally checking off those that I had when I was a patient at their facility four years ago. I believe all but one was something that I could identity with.

Scripture admonishes us to possess a continual attitude of gratitude. The Apostle Paul simply admonished believers to “be thankful in all circumstances.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Thankful people, are happy people.

However, the most repeated command related to thankfulness is who our gratitude is directed “to.” Giving thanks “to” focuses our attention on the source of blessing in our life. It points to the source that bestows and sustains and that can be trusted.

Psalm 105 and Psalm 136 are to well-know psalms of thanksgiving. Psalm 136 is written in an antiphonal style. It is good to reflect on two large groups with one declaring, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.” and the other responding, “for his faithful love endures forever.”

The following stanzas take us on a journey where we are reminded who the Lord is, what He does and what He has done. All of these are important. The Lord’s character is consistent and unchanging. He is the God who does not change and can be trusted. I am thankful for that.

We are reminded that He is Creator, mighty and powerful in His revelation to His creation. I am thankful that there is “nothing to hard for Him.” Whatever the challenge, struggle or that obstacles that come our way, we can turn to the Lord and seek Him.

We are reminded of what the Lord has done in the past. Being reminded of the Lord’s intervention for His people in the past, encourages our faith and gives hope for the future. I am thankful for all that the Lord has done. the old hymn calls us to “count your blessings.” We can become so focus on the “here and now” and have concerns about what is ahead, that we ignore times of being reminded of prayers that have been answered in the past.

As we mark this Thanksgiving and move through the holiday season, let’s allow us to be continually thankful for our blessings, let’s possess an attitude of gratitude, but foremost may our hearts be directed toward the source of our life and the One who bestows all good gifts on His children.