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True Thanksgiving

Weekly Devotionals

True Thanksgiving

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8-9

In light of this being the season of the harvest, I wanted to share about how we can ensure that we are those that truly give thanks. I bring this up this because for the most of us, if we’re honest, “giving thanks” is not too much more than saying “Thank You” as an expression of politeness and good manners. Now, there are certainly times where a polite “thank you” is both acceptable and appropriate. However, this is not the kind of “thanksgiving” in true thanksgiving.

So then, what constitutes true thankfulness? Well, I believe a helpful way to get this answer is by looking through the lens of the harvest. The various harvest holidays around the world, whether in the US, Canada, Korea, etc., are either literally called “Thanksgiving” or understood to be a day of thanksgiving. This is because it is the day of celebrating the final harvest of the year before the winter. And though the effort of those who farmed contributed to this harvest, everyone knew, especially the farmers themselves, that to have a good harvest, there were many more things that were out of their control than were under their control.

Therefore, a good harvest was a time of true thanksgiving for those giving thanks knew full well that they were enjoying the fruit, not only of their labor, but especially of the help that they received beyond their ability. So from this perspective, we can see that true thanksgiving is the expression of dependence, of having received good things that we could not have gotten or have earned on our own.

Now as urbanites, even though most of us probably do not farm, I believe that if we take an honest look it’s still very much possible for us to see that so many of the good things of our lives are the products of grace and mercy and not of anything other. Therefore, in light of having been reminded that true thanksgiving is the expression of a humble heart responding to grace that could not be earned and mercy that wasn’t deserved, I pray that we will be those that are truly thankful. So much so that our once polite “thank you” greeting will be transformed into a moment that truly honors the person(s) we saying it to, as well as ultimately, our Lord.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!