A Time for Giving Thanks

By Terri Sloan

It’s hard to imagine a world without time. Each and every detail of our day is connected to time. Work, play, dates, appointments, movies, planes and trains — there’s a schedule, there’s a time. We plan our lives around our alarm clock, our lunch hour, dinner time and bedtime. Most of us can guess what time it is without glancing at a clock at the drop of a hat, time is so deeply ingrained in us.

God is not ruled by time. He is eternal and infinite. For God, there is no time. He’s the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. Nothing has happened he didn’t know was coming. Nothing is unexpected, nothing unforeseen.

God. Simply. IS.

But God gave his people time. He gave us the sun and moon to measure each day; he gave us seasons to measure each year. When God, through Moses, was establishing the Hebrew people as a nation following the exodus from Egypt, he outlined his expectations for his people. He instructed them to honor time and seasons through festivals and celebrations. They were agricultural festivals, tied to sowing and reaping, intended to create an opportunity to give thanks to God for the blessings they received.

Our modern day Thanksgiving started out as a harvest festival back in the 16th century. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, during the American Civil War, a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving has taken a few twists and turns through the centuries. Today, most of us as Americans have everything we want or need. It can be easy to view Thanksgiving as a time for turkey and football, followed by a vigorous outing on black Friday. For many of us, it’s the gift of a rare occasion when we have four paid days off in a row. Thanksgiving is a good thing. It’s pretty much my favorite.

Next Thursday, let’s definitely eat turkey and watch football. But let’s also give genuine thanks to the God who delivered the Hebrew slaves, the God who blesses, and the God who sent his son to die on a cross. Let’s thank him that we live in the greatest nation in the world. Let’s take a moment to pray for our leaders and pray for the world around us. Let’s take a few minutes of our day with our family and friends, and remember God. Let’s invite him to our celebration, and let’s thank him for the blessings we have. He would like that.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1–4


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