This pithy statement is packed with challenging truth. However, I want to take the liberty of making it not politically correct, but spiritually correct.
At times life does seem like a bumpy ride on an old steam engine train. Or sometimes we feel as if we are on a jet plane flight—life is going too fast and our ears are popping with the change of pressure. Or we may feel as if we are in a sail boat but our sail lies limp waiting for the wind. At other times we feel as if we are toiling at the rowing in a stormy sea. No analogies are perfect and they all have a spark of truth.
For sure our journey through life has as many ups and downs, highs and lows, as a see-saw. When we are in friendship with Jesus Christ and belong to Him, such fluctuations are not accidental or random but Divinely intentional. If we surrender willingly, joyfully to God's plan for our lives, we live under His loving Master control. "Goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives," as Psalm 23 affirms, but we may not recognize some of the pitfalls and pit stops as “goodness.” They may seem more like adversities to get us off track or at the very least like speed bumps to cause to us slow down and take stock of our life course.
Thanksgiving is one such helpful speed bump. But thanking God is not a “trick” as our little adage suggests. It is a Christian's lifestyle. “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Yes, in everything—“delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts.” They are all in God's plan and working for our good to transform us into the image of Christ. It is all good, even when we don't like the track we are on or the visibility ahead is clouded.
Moreover, I don't believe the Lord only “intersperses occasionally” the “beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts” of joy, delight, and pleasure. He showers us with blessings! They are all around us if we open the ears and eyes of our hearts to hear and see them. God dropped one on me the other night when I opened my kitchen door and saw this awesome November sunset.
“The heavens declare the glory of God...!” I thanked and praised Him for “letting me have the ride” of mortal life for so many years and to taste His goodness in the land of the living.
Thanksgiving is not just one day a year. Isn't it a lifestyle of offering thanks and joyful praise without ceasing to God who “gives us richly all things to enjoy”?
How about meditating on, and perhaps reading together the five power-packed Thanksgiving verses of Psalm 100 before we sit down to overindulge on all the traditional festive fare beyond our body's needs.“Give thanks to Him, bless His name, for the Lord is good!”