Let’s Be Thankful :: by Grant Phillips

Well here we are again. Halloween is behind us, as is Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas is just around the corner.

Would somebody tell me where summer went to? Actually I know. I recall the older folks always saying, “The older you get, the faster time flies.” Now I’m the “older folk,” and summer seems like a dream in a short, very short, nap.

As I get older, something we all do, I have learned to appreciate each day, rain or shine, because they just go by much too fast.

There is so much we have to be thankful for in this country. Less than a month ago we celebrated Thanksgiving Day. Unfortunately, this special day is becoming a small blip on the radar at this time of year. It has long since been incorporated, along with Christmas, into the politically correct “Holiday Season.” Even Halloween gets more attention than Thanksgiving Day, sad to say.

Are we not thankful for where we live, who we are, our families, our friends, what we have, our opportunities, our lifestyles, our freedom, and a zillion other things? Even in our fallen state as a country, we still have so much to thank God for. Maybe that’s our problem.

We have forgotten from where our blessings have come. We have developed the notion that we have made it happen, all on our own. “We are a great country because of our hard work.” “I have a successful career. Look at what I’ve done!” “My athletic prowess stands alone. I am a great athlete, and I will always be remembered.” “Listen to me sing. What a blessing I am to others!” I … I … I seems to be the only pronoun we recognize.

Are we thankful for what we have? When Thanksgiving Day arrives, I love to eat as much as the next guy, but shouldn’t it haunt us for those who have nothing to eat, let alone a feast? Did we at least ask His blessing upon our abundance?

I sometimes wonder why I was blessed by God to be born and raised in a free country with so much to offer, when it could have been so different for me. I don’t know the answer to that puzzle, but I am thankful, and feel strongly that my thankfulness should be acknowledged by me to God. Have we thanked Him?

Has our greed and egotism so consumed us that we actually believe we have no one to thank but ourselves? I’m afraid it has in most cases, and this is our downfall.

No country or individual can ever omit God from their presence and not eventually fall flat on their face. We, as a country, are falling hard, like a large tree in a forest that has been hewn down. We, as individuals, will pay the price.

What kind of child would a family produce that is never taught to be thankful for what they have and who they are? Are they taught to be thankful for their parents and the sacrifices and provisions of their parents for their benefit? If thankfulness is not instilled in a child, would it not produce a spoiled brat?

What kind of marriage would there be if neither spouse is thankful for the other? You would have two miserable people living together and possibly headed to divorce court.

There are millions in this country who are deeply thankful, and their thoughts go toward Almighty God on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas because they know they are blessed. However, as a country, we have lost that awareness. We are consumed with the desire to feed the appetite of our own pleasures, and that desire rapidly increases as we approach the day we celebrate Christmas.

If our lack of thankfulness is not recognized on Thanksgiving Day, it can certainly not be seen during the Christmas season either. Fighting over purchases, pushing needless items upon greedy customers, pouting over not getting what you want, and minds saturated with “Gimme, Gimme,Gimmie” are not attitudes of thanksgiving. It is greed gone amuck.

Many have replaced prayers of thanksgiving with gluttony and all day football. Many have replaced the celebration of the first advent of Jesus Christ for the arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. God forbid if Christmas should fall on Sunday. Many of our churches will remain faithful with open doors to worship, but others will close so “people can be home with their families to commemorate Christmas.”

I would just like for those in other countries to know that not all of us here in the United States have tossed God aside. There are still millions in this country who love God. We are not perfect, and we do realize that we are clothed only in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and we are so thankful to God for that.

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

We are thankful that one day, possibly soon, we will all be seeing each other on our way up to meet with Jesus in the air. Our prayer is that many will come to know Jesus as their Savior and join us when He calls us out.