Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!
We Canadians celebrated our Thanksgiving back in October, but every day is a good day to be thankful, so I’m ready to celebrate again.
Someone asked why Canadians changed the date. Apparently Martin Frobisher held the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1578, forty years before the Pilgrims arrived in the new country — not that it’s a contest. I found out that I have deep roots in Canada, but I am also a descendent of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, so I feel entitled to be thankful at least twice a year.
In fact, I am entitled to be thankful every day of the year. I don’t say that lightly. I don’t always feel thankful, especially after weeks of cluster headaches and other unexplained physical torments. Sometimes the sacrifice of praise is just that — a sacrifice. It’s not easy. Sometimes it comes through teeth gritted in pain or a heart broken in sorrow.
Coupled with hope, the sacrifice of praise is a pure, distilled form of worship, I think. It leads us to the table in the valley where the feast is kept.
“Yet, will I praise you,” the Psalmist wrote. “Your lovingkindness endures forever.” Praise re-focuses our attention on the character of the God of all comfort. Thankfulness helps us remember his provision. There is always, always something to be thankful for.
This week my two youngest granddaughters (on opposite sides of the country) both celebrated losing first teeth on the same day. I am thankful for their joy and evidence they are growing up.
This week the tax department told my husband he owes them more money. I am thankful that he still earns money and for good healthcare that doesn’t leave us destitute.
This week a friend dropped by with flowers, other friends prayed for me, my kids and grandkids called, I got to know a nephew better (what fascinating adventures he has had!). I am thankful for caring fellow-travellers on this journey.
I am thankful for a nearly blank calendar which allows me to rest when I need to.
Mostly I am thankful to Jesus, the Lover of my soul, who never leaves or gives up on me and still gives me songs in the night.
Lord, you never fail me. Thank you.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
(Hebrews 13:15 NIV)