It's Not Always Picture Perfect

The picture "Freedom From Want", by beloved painter Norman Rockwell, is a wonderful depiction of the All-American holiday, Thanksgiving Day. This poignant painting seems so simple, yet it is actually very complex. For example, it has over 100 different shades of the color white in it. Sometimes, looking at the big picture, we miss the details.

For many across the country, their day will be as perfect as this picture, a festive day filled with family, friends, football and food, food, food. But for some, Thanksgiving Day will be a sad reminder of loss, pain, absence, hurt.

Through the "magic" of Facebook, I heard from a young single mother who was seeking the ex-wife of her baby's father, a man who had abandoned her and their son. While I wasn't the person she was looking for, I prayed for her and kept in touch with her. This Thanksgiving Day will be difficult for her and her little boy, and for so many others like her. It will be difficult for families with soldiers overseas, for single people longing for a family unit, for those with health issues, haunting memories or too many bills and not enough income.

When we face difficult times, is it possible to offer thanksgiving to God? Yesterday, I shared that Jesus gave thanks when He broke the bread representing His body broken at the hands of His betrayer and His crucifiers. How was He able to do so? The writer of Hebrews tells us that He endured the cross for the joy set before Him. He fixed His eyes on the joy of what He was accomplishing - the reconciliation of His people to Himself - and we are told to fix our eyes on Him. (Hebrews 12:2)

He was able to offer thanks, because He was filled with thanks. It is out of the abundance of our hearts that our mouths speak (Luke 6:45) So if we are filled with thanks, we will offer thanksgiving. We can't give what we don't have. So to give thanks, we must be thankful.

We don't offer thanksgiving just because we are feeling thankful. We offer it because He deserves it. We offer it because we are His children with all the benefits that relationship provides. He is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving. Period. Circumstances change. We change. He never changes.

A pop-up ad for Oscar Mayer bacon streamed across my computer screen.

"Thanksgiving doesn't have to end Thursday night
....for the love of bacon."

Hmmm, I'd rather say it this way:
"Thanksgiving doesn't have to end Thursday night
....for the love of Jesus."

Lord, thank You for Your unfailing, unending love for us. May we all experience Your presence today. May we sense Your love and provision. And as we fill up with thankfulness, may we offer up thanksgiving as a testimony to You.


Cheri Bunch said...

Perfect! I love it! Thanks so much!

Cathy said...

Beautifully written!