Posted by: glorifyhim1 | November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Reflections


It seems that the older I get the more sentimental I get over the holidays. I look back and remember. At Thanksgiving I remember waking to the delicious smell of turkey roasting in the oven, my Mama already busy at work in the kitchen. I also smile as I remember another smell not quite as pleasant. Let me explain. When I was a child, Thanksgiving Day was also the annual “hog-killing” day at my uncle’s house. My Dad, along with other family members would gather and work together to kill and butcher everyone’s hogs. When Dad would come home at lunch time, the unique aroma that settled on his skin and clothes was, as I later teased him, how I used to think that turkey smelled!


Thanksgiving memories also include the annual Christmas parade that traditionally occurred on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The trip to the parade also usually included a stop by the candy counter at the old Sears store where we would get treated to candy and fresh, hot cashews.


Not too many years later, I still found myself at the  Christmas parade on Thanksgiving Eve, but this time with my own three little kids, but they were clamoring for the large, helium-filled balloons in every cartoon shape imaginable and a fast-food hamburger on the way home. While they didn’t get to enjoy the annual “hog-killing” festivities, Thanksgiving Day found them seated around the same table where I had sat as a child – until a few years later when I began to prepare the family dinner. Then they awoke, as I had years before, to the smells of the turkey roasting in the oven.


Isn’t it funny how we tend to carry on our celebrations and traditions without really even thinking about it? Happy memories just seem to beget making more. Likewise, as we look back and remember, we recall people, experiences, good times, hard times, and valuable lessons learned. Now I think I realize why through His Word, God encourages us to remember. “Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth.” (1 Chronicles 16:12). King David had just prepared a place where the Israelites could gather to worship God. He reminded the people of how God had been faithful to them and urged them to remember all that He had done for them. As the people remembered God’s past faithfulness, they realized that they could continue to depend on Him in the future. Remembering led to renewed faith and thanksgiving. “Oh, give thanks to the Lord; for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)


Isn’t it the same with us? When we think about all that God has done for us, the answered prayers, His mercy and grace, our hope and faith are renewed. “For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth.” (Psalm 71:5) And as we remember and hope, we cannot help but thank and praise God. “I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9:1-2)


While we should live in a constant attitude of praise and thankfulness to God (Ephesians 5:20), it is good to ever so often – especially on Thanksgiving Day – to stop and reflect, to think about all the way we’ve come. It’s good to look for God’s hand in the details of our lives, to see how He worked things out, helped us through, and in the process “daily loads us with benefits” (Psalm 68:19). Then as we reflect on God’s goodness to us, we cannot help but let that joy and praise overflow in our lives to bless the lives of others.  



Looking back I’m overwhelmed

At all God’s done for me,

The people, places, life events

That He planned out for me,

The hard times He brought me through,

The victories He designed,

The many things He taught me

As He walked with me every mile.

He’s blessed my life with laughter

And peppered it with tears,

And I ever stand in awe of Him

And his faithfulness through the years.

Yes, sometimes clouds obscure the sun

And morning turns to dusk,

But nothing can ever steal the joy,

The wonder of God with us!


Happy Thanksgiving!


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