Being thankful shouldn't be overlooked

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It is time to dig out the fat pants, that special pair of paints that gives you a little extra room for another piece of pie, extra slice of turkey and a little more gravy to help everything slide down.

Ready or not, Thanksgiving is this week.

But this year it seems like it would be easy to miss. Christmas music is on the radio all day every day. Santa has already taken up residence in the stores. And instead of Black Friday to spur on Christmas shopping we have Black November. This year it will be easier than ever to miss being thankful.

Thankfulness is never been accidental. It is an internal anchor that is secure and immovable. Psalm 46 describes God as the anchor in three ways: a place to turn, a power to trust and a presence.

A place to turn refers to a refuge in the midst of a storm. When a dangerous storm is approaching and you run to the basement, the basement is the refuge. God is described as that place to turn during times of trouble -- not an empty religion but a person to turn to and rest in.

He is a power to trust. It's easier to be thankful when times are good, but it's harder when they are bad. The Psalmist says that he is power, he is strength. It implies that he is able to handle what we are willing to give him. He doesn't sweat the small or large stuff.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but it's never as impressive as the real thing. Pictures of Yellowstone just don't capture the beauty of being in the presence of the park. God doesn't want us to know about him from a distance as much as he wants us to know him through his presence.

What do these descriptions have to do with being thankful? The rest of the Psalm describes uncontrollable change, when all that is relied upon melts away, unforeseen danger and rising destruction. But those who trust in the place, power and presence of God can be thankful because they are not afraid.

The world is generous in overwhelming us with fear. Looking to God births thankful attitudes and actions because he can be relied upon when everything else is out of control.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at

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