I think November is my favorite month. Here’s why. It has a big holiday in it, without all the stress. It involves one great feast, rather than a million parties. The giving of thanks doesn’t require a credit card. Family sits around and talks rather than playing with new gadgets and toys. Pumpkin Pie trumps fruitcake.
You know I love Christmas! But I really think I like Thanksgiving even better. Giving thanks is even more fun to me than giving gifts. Last week I tried an experiment. I was on the threshold of a huge week of filming for the upcoming Bible study DVD. I was worried, stressed, ill-prepared, and behind schedule.
On the plane to Nashville, I time-warped my mind to the flight home. I imagined that I was sitting in the same window seat and everything was behind me: the writing, preparation, filming, speaking, details – everything!
I began to thank the Lord for His faithfulness that He had pulled the whole thing together so beautifully. I praised Him for showing up with anointing and creativity. My heart overflowed with gratefulness that He took care of so many details that I surely would have messed up if it hadn’t been for His grace. I thanked Him for holding my family so close while I was so far away. I was overcome with thanksgiving that it was all behind me and He showed up to do exceedingly beyond all that I could ask or think.
Sound presumptuous? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Is it wrong to presume that God will be true to His character? Sound like a “name it and claim it” theology? I hope not, unless you mean I can trust God to be faithful to His promises. Sound like New Age, positive-thinking, mumbo-jumbo? Only if you equate that with Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Now do you understand why I love Thanksgiving so much?
Why don’t you give my little experiment a try? It worked for me! What are you worried about this month? Okay, now imagine that you are sitting around the table for Thanksgiving dinner a few days from now. It is your turn to tell what you are thankful for this year. Assuming you’ve probably already prayed about this thing, declare your gratefulness that God heard you and He answered. He was faithful. He was present. He was creative with His answer. He took care of everything better than you were capable in your own strength. He held the things that are dearest to you close to His own heart. He showed up and He showed off.
Did you recognize that was my own prayer of thanksgiving just without the details? It doesn’t sound presumptuous, Faith-healerish, or New Agey, at all that way, does it? Risk believing God is true to His character, promises, and Word this Thanksgiving. November may turn out to be your favorite month, too.
Dear Lord, it makes me happy to give thanks! Soï¿½thank You for Novembers. Thank you for presumptuous gratitude. Thank You for sovereign grace. Thank You for painful probing. Thank You for irrational mercy. Thank You for Erwin McManus. Thank You for holidays. Thank You for books. Thank You for words. Thank You for friends, specifically these friends for which I pray and give thanks daily. Thank You that You give us so many reasons to give thanks! In Jesus’ name, thank You!
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