Thanksgiving is the Beginning of Everything Else

img_1089Julie and I went away to rest. We have had one of the busiest years of our lives. It’s been a good year and we are enjoying God’s favor, and even in the realization of good things we are called to give of ourselves. It’s good to pour out and it’s necessary to fill back up again.

As we retreated, many things are on our radar for the coming year. Many things to think about, talk about and pray about. We’ve begun to look forward but something happened along the way. It wasn’t planned, but it is part of the plan.

As I began to pray the first morning away, all I could really think to pray was thanks for what God has already done. There were no prayers of “ask,” only prayers of “thanks.”

As I reflected on that, I concluded that thanksgiving is the foundation for everything we do in the Kingdom of God. We find contentment in thanksgiving. We find joy in thanksgiving. We find purpose in thanksgiving. We even find more in thanksgiving. In other words, where we can be thankful, we can recognize the Source and are able to be trusted with more.

The trick is not to jump too quickly or too frequently into asking for the more just because you’ve covered the thanks. The more comes as a result of the thanks. The thanks are a reflection of a heart positioned to receive. At least in that moment, it is a heart submitted to God.

We practically can’t worry in thanksgiving. We are celebrating the faithfulness of God so we don’t have to battle or question the faith we have in God. When appreciative for what is done, there are absolutes, when forecasting what He might (or might not) do, there is the anxiety of “what if?”

Truthfully, as a pastor, I sometimes struggle with holidays. The dictation of the calendar for direction of what God is saying feels confining. In other words, when forced to consider Thanksgiving because a sermon is needed, the breath of God seems to be secondary to the calendar of man. That’s not the case this week. This wasn’t preparation for sharing with others; it was revelation for enjoyment myself.

Not because this is Thanksgiving week, but because every day is a day for more, I am thankful. I am thankful for many things, perhaps most of all the faithfulness of God in revelations such as His goodness. From there, for the moment at least, the rest is relatively easy.

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