Thanksgiving always brings bittersweet flavors. My mother died ten years ago this week. The loss was huge. In fact, we got the phone call on Thanksgiving morning.
Mom’s untimely death was tough enough, but having the memory perpetually linked with Thanksgiving has forced some reflection I never would have considered otherwise.
I’ve come to understand how loss in life is one of God’s greatest ways to cultivate a grateful heart.
Thankfulness comes from one simple word.
For many people, the holidays draw up painful memories. Sore spots from childhood or the loss of loved ones hit hard during this sentimental season.
While many people celebrate the joys of Christmastime, others suffer lonely holidays.
During one of the most desperate times of King David’s life, the anointed future king of Israel found himself running from two separate enemies—hardly a time to celebrate. With the Philistines to the west and King Saul to the east, a distressed David sought refuge in the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1–2).
David felt very alone.
His situation offers encouragement to us during lonely holidays.
For most of us, reading about the sacrifices of ancient Israel is a real yawner.
But hidden behind the veil of ritual and strangeness are principles of timeless value. As we approach Thanksgiving, one sacrifice rises from the ashes of antiquity as instructive.
“Rituals are apparently irrational acts which become rational when their significance is explained.”- Northrop Frye
In the days of ancient Israel, a special offering, different from the ones required for sin, allowed a person to give God thanks for something He had done.
The Thanksgiving Peace Offering has a timeless lesson.
Think about one person who has inspired you, encouraged you, or helped you. Got that person in your mind? Now, let me ask you a question: Have you ever sent a thank-you note to that person?
(Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Vivozoom)
Not long ago a client sent a thank-you note to the editors in our department, expressing appreciation for their excellent work. The client told me of the editors’ surprising reply: “No one has ever thanked us before.”
That tragic statement got me thinking.