George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide Thanksgiving celebration in America on November 26, 1789. “It was a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many favours of an Almighty God.” – Wikipedia. Is it possible for a people and a nation to forget God? (Deut.6:11-12, Psalms: 33:12; 9:17; 78:41-52). It seems that in fullness, America and many people have forgotten God. Thanksgiving means to give thanks. It is impossible to grumble and be grateful at the same time.
First, how many murmuring, complaining Christians do you know? Some remind me of the Toddler’s Rules… “If I like it, it’s mine. If I want it, it’s mine. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine. If I can take it away from you, it’s mine. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours. If we do it together, it becomes mine. If it just looks like mine, it’s mine. If I saw it first, it’s mine. If I think it’s mine, it’s mine. If I give it to you but change my mind, it’s mine. Once it’s mine it will never belong to you.If it’s broken, it’s yours!” (Unknown).
Next, how many contented Christians do you know? The story is told of a complaining farmer who grew tired of his mundane farm life. Finally, he decided to sell his farm. He listed it with a real estate broker who prepared an ad that emphasized all the farm’s advantages: ideal location, modern equipment, healthy stock, acres of fertile ground, beautiful scenery, privacy, beautiful lake, and peaceful. When the farmer saw the ad he cried out, “Hold everything! I’ve changed my mind. I’ve been looking for a place like that all my life.” It seems that some people just do not consider how they have been greatly blessed. Most of the world, especially at this time in the Philippines, would be very content to have what we in America have. Most of the world is facing famine, pestilence, and starvation. Some are under dictators who rule with fear and religious persecution. Many have poor water and soil conditions. It seems in America our greatest concern is obesity, Rolaids, Tums, Alka-Seltzer, and Pepto Bismol. It seems we are a country of burping and bellyaching. We need to learn that the best things in life are not things, but people. Money will buy… a bed, but not rest; books but not brains; food but not an appetite; cosmetics but not beauty; house but not a home; medicine but not health; luxuries but not culture; amusement but not happiness. “Count your many blessings and name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” As the farmer, let’s look and learn to be more content with what we do have. “But godliness with contentment is great gain…And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (I Timothy 6:6-8). Complaining is natural, but contentment is un-natural and must be learned. “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). This Thanksgiving season is a time we should all pause to think and thank God for his many benefits. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalms 103:2). Learn to be content! America is still the most blessed country on this earth. I am very thankful to be an American. This Thanksgiving, let’s all pause and in our fullness, not forget the Lord and all His many benefits. Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!