By Grant Phillips
I can’t believe it’s that time again. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and another year will soon be gone forever. Thanksgiving Day is my favorite holiday.
Fall (autumn) began a few months back, and I love the fall. Can’t say much for winter, but it does make the anticipation of spring come alive within me. Since I’m talking about the seasons, I’ll reveal that my favorite time of season is summer, even though I have to mow, and my second favorite is the fall. Winter of course is last and that leaves spring at number three.
Thanksgiving is football, parades, and lavish meals for many people. I’m not a very big sports fan, but some of my neighbors would have a heart attack if the TV went out during their game time. Bless their hearts. It is nice though to be able to relax and watch some football and/or basketball now and then. I just can’t get into baseball however. I’ve tried, but I’d rather stand in the pasture and watch cows graze than watch a televised baseball game.
Anyway, there is so much we have to be thankful for in this country. Even with all our problems, and there are many, I wouldn’t live anywhere else if I could.
I’m thankful most of all that God has saved me and that my and my wife’s family know the Lord too. What a blessing it is to be married to a beautiful Christian lady, who loves the Lord and longs to know Him more and more. She is my best friend and I don’t say that facetiously.
When I think about my children and grandchildren, I am so proud of them, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that kind of pride. I love them dearly and feel so bad for them that they have to face a world of so much moral rot. They didn’t get to enjoy the “Mayberry” years I grew up in. It is tragic that society has crawled down into the sewers of moral degradation.
I also thank God for the tough times I’ve been through in the past because He showed me and taught me so much of Himself. That isn’t to say I enjoyed the difficult years, far from it, but looking back, I wouldn’t trade them away. When I could see no light at the end of the tunnel at times, He was preparing blessings for me beyond my hopes and dreams. I asked for water. He gave me the well. I ask for bread. He gave me a banquet. You can’t beat that.
Now some of you are going to assume my wife and I live in a million dollar mansion atop some knoll looking down on everyone else. If so, back that buggy up. It ain’t so. We live in a small modest house in a sub-division with great neighbors and yapping dogs (theirs). By the way, I actually prefer cats, but after 21 years our little buddy passed away. Many of those blessings have been material in nature, but not in material riches. The riches have come spiritually and through family and friends.
Don’t you find it sad and annoying that Thanksgiving has become the “freckled-faced step-child of the latter part of each year? The fourth quarter of the year has four main holidays; i.e. Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Isn’t it puzzling that Satan’s crowd wants to push out of existence anything referring to God? So why hang on to Christmas? The Ten Commandments have been kicked out of the schools, along with prayer and God’s Word, the Bible. Manger scenes are a “no-no.” I’m surprised crosses haven’t been removed from the highways where people have died in car wrecks. So why hang on to Christmas? Greed. Money. There’s money to be made from this holiday, so they try to change it to Xmas. I pray that people continue to rebel against that blasphemous attempt.
Anyway, Thanksgiving got lost somewhere between Halloween and Christmas. Christmas advertising starts even before the arrival of Halloween. Thanksgiving is rarely mentioned though, other than to remind us to buy (money again) that turkey and spend the whole day watching those parades and ballgames.
Are we not thankful for anything at all? Thanksgiving to me is a family experience, enjoying each other’s company, and reminiscing on our blessings from God. To so many people though, it’s more about food. Hey look, I like food as much as the next guy, and I love the food prepared at this time, but I also feel we’ve lost the true meaning of Thanksgiving, just as we have with Christmas. Thanksgiving equals food. Christmas equals presents. There’s something wrong with that picture.
I thank God especially for saving my soul. I know I’m not worthy of it and I know I don’t deserve it, but that is the beauty of His grace. None of us could ever be worthy and certainly none of us deserve it, but He paid our sin debt anyway. All I had to do at some point in my life was believe upon Him by faith, and that I did. Since He never leaves anything half-done, He lives within me each day, helping me follow Him in the power of His Spirit, and assures my arrival in Heaven when this life is done.
Have you ever sat down and just started writing out the many ways the Lord is blessing you, especially when you think Murphy’s Law is pressing down on your life? I have. It can be very eye-opening. We may complain about having no shoes, but then someone else may have no feet. We may complain at the long-winded preacher keeping us from our Sunday dinner, but how many others gather together to worship Jesus at the risk of their lives? We may complain that our arthritis is acting up, when our neighbor is dying from cancer. Finally, we may complain of the knuckleheads destroying this once Christian country, and I do, but would we rather live in North Korea?
I’m thankful to God that we in this country have been so materially blessed, but let us not forget why. Our forefathers set us upon the right path, but those blessings could go at any time, and they very well may since we have strayed from the narrow road. What then? This may sound cliche, but if we have the Spirit of God living within us and live for Him, we are rich and blessed beyond measure.