Have you ever noticed that Thanksgiving day seems to have become less and less important in our culture? Where it used to be a day for family gatherings and fellowship, it’s been reduced to a freezer full of turkeys and some festive tableware at the local grocery store and wild shopping deals. In our homes, it's a gluttonous celebration with some football and pumpkin pie for dessert. Thanksgiving day is blurred by the darkness of Halloween and drowned in the frenzy of Christmas. When did you ever see a house decorated for Thanksgiving? It seems as if overnight the world transforms from ghosts and goblins to the angelic and magical with nary a mention of what lies in-between.
We see in the scripture above that in God's economy, thanksgiving is extremely important, if not essential in prayer. It's the catalyst that gets us from the darkness's of life to the glorious light of prayer answers. Just as Thanksgiving Day is a resting point between the evil of Halloween and the song of the Christmas angels declaring that God has come near, the practice of thanksgiving in prayer is what carries us from problem to provision, from anxiety to answers, from trepidation to truth, and from obstacle to overcoming.
Here we see it, sandwiched in between our pleas and the answer. In between our petitions and the provision. It is the conduit, through which our faith travels, that leads to the ear of God and what is needed to move His heart and His hand. The result of thanksgiving offered in faith is the presence of God in our lives and the reality of answers to prayer.
So today, in the in-between, in-between Halloween and Christmas, in-between my petitions and provision, I choose to give thanks. I focus not on food or family, fortune or fame. I focus not on future plans or present realities. Instead I will give thanks for the provision of God smashed between evil and good, between being lost and being found, between separation and reconciliation. I will give thanks for the coming of God’s Son to sacrifice His life for me. I will glory in all the provisions that His death now makes available to me.
And my reward? His presence. Presence in prosperity or problems. In joy and in sadness. In the turmoil, turbulence, troubles and transitions of life. Transcending presence born on the wings of faith-filled thanksgiving.