Thanksgiving Time - Encouragement Café - November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving Time
By  Joan Walker Hahn

Friday, November 24, 2017

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (NIV)

The church I attend has two different Sunday School meeting times.  I attend an adult Sunday School class the first hour and then a children’s class meets in the same room the second hour.  The next Sunday morning, it’s interesting to read the prayer requests and the praises the young children listed on the whiteboard. 

They innocently ask for prayer for their dog or to do well on a test.  Then they will give praise for passing a test, getting a new toy or pet, or getting to play with their friends. 

I think as adults we often forget to think about the simple blessings we receive.  Children are thrilled to get to play with friends.  Toddlers can play and repeat the game of dropping a toy and saying “uh-oh,” just so someone can pick it up and give it back to them again and again. 

My grandchildren love playing “tennis” with me in the house with balloons or walking to the park to swing.  It’s not just the things they are given, but the attention they get that gives them so much joy.

When we think about the things we ought to be thankful for, we think of our homes, food and clothing.  We think of our family and friends.  And yes, we should thank God every moment for those wonderful blessings. 

How often though, do we thank God for the time and attention He gives us? 

When I have my quiet time, I so cherish the days when God’s Word seems to leap off the page, filling me with the knowledge of His presence.  Not every day is like that. 

Sometimes God’s presence is so real in a worship service at church that the congregation can’t stop singing worship songs and people can’t stop standing up, publicly giving praise for God’s blessings.  Every service isn’t like that. 

Sometimes God makes His presence really known, and then other times we just trust by faith that He is with us, even if He has chosen to be silent.

Yes, I’m thankful for my family and friends.  I’m thankful for my home and other material blessings that I have been so richly given from God. 

But more than anything, I’m thankful when God takes the time to show up and “play” with me.

In our busy lives, it’s sometimes a treat to get to go out with friends and just enjoy the fellowship with each other.  God longs to have that time with us as well. 

When we plan out our days, we need to make sure we plan that time to spend with God and allow Him to speak to us and bless us with His awesome presence.

Heavenly Father, thank You for all the blessings You give me.  During this Thanksgiving season, as I look at all You have done for me, I am overwhelmed.  Most of all, I thank You for sending Your only Son to die for me.  Thank You for raising Him from the dead and that He now is seated with You in heaven.  Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit, whereby I can feel Your presence.  May I always hunger to spend time with You.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.

© 2017 by Joan Walker Hahn.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Friday, 24 November 2017.