On October 3, 1863, President Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday saying,
“I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”
Thanksgiving and praise can be given for many things, but they all fall short when they fail to reach the throne of our Father in Heaven.
The 2020 version of Thanksgiving is different. Families have more hurdles to get over when gathering together. Bank accounts have suffered from the weight of restrictions. Stress fractures have appeared under the pressures of the election. With all that has happened these last 6-months we may wonder what’s worth thanksgiving and praise in 2020.
One thing I’ve noticed in my nearly 50 years is that Thanksgiving tends to flow more freely and sincerely during seasons of struggle.
Proverbs 30: 8-9 speak to this when saying,
“Feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?”.
When we are full, with all of our needs met, we forget our “beneficent Father” is the one who ultimately clothes us and feeds us (Matt 6). But, in seasons of struggle we remember what matters the most and who sustains us.
Don’t miss the opportunity to thank and praise your Father just because you’ve suffered. In the Old Testament Job had a season far worst than anything most of us have experienced in 2020. Yet, he proclaimed,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
If I’m honest that’s a hard saying to repeat. But, it’s still the truth and gives us all a sturdy foundation from which to live another day.