Thanksgiving. In the Merriam Webster dictionary the definition is, “a public acknowledgement or celebration of divine goodness.” It contains three syllables and two words, THANKS-GIVING. The word thanks is an expression of gratitude, and the word giving means to carry out an act. When we usually hear or read of the word Thanksgiving, it’s usually synonymous with the annual holiday in which we stuff our faces (especially me!) with roasted turkey and all the rest of the delicious trimmings.
But, have we really given thought to the meaning of the word? What perspective do you have about the significance of Thanksgiving? I have much to be grateful for as I reflect over the past year. I can’t help but to feel overwhelmed with gratitude towards my Creator for all things, the good and the bad. On days when I feel as though the whole world is against me, I “selah” (the Hebrew word that means to pause, think about it) and meditate on all the positive things in my life. Life is not easy, but then again, who said it would be? Jesus once said:
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matt. 11:28)
What is life without experiencing some kind of pain or lost. It helps us to become stronger, and in time we become better equipped to handle the next challenge. It’s comforting to know that we are not alone and with time, things will eventually get better. There are many people who are going through rough times. We can become so consumed with ourselves that our vision is clouded to see the need of another soul.
Here are few facts to think about….
783 million people don’t have access to clean water,
610, 042 people who are homeless and have nowhere to sleep tonight,
1 in 9 people in the world will not have a meal tonight,
Instead of focusing on what we do or do not have, let us gather around the table and give thanks for our health, our families, the clothes on our backs and food to nourish our bodies. I also challenge you to reach out to someone in need, whether it’s a friend or neighbor and step outside of your own comfort zones and make a difference in someone’s life this Thanksgiving.
You may be surprised in finding that taking the time to lend a hand is the greatest gift to be thankful for.