During the first two years we lived in Fargo, Dave and I were members of a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. Our CSA delivered seasonal vegetables from spring until fall. We also attended a few “harvest events” where we picked our own veggies—pumpkins, gourds, melons, corn, green beans, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, beets, cabbages, carrots, and more. At times, we could barely shut the car doors!
We ate or froze as much as we could, but still we had so much left. I hate to be wasteful, especially with such nutritious foods. So, we gave away all the surplus. We dropped off bags loaded with ears of sweet corn to our neighbors. Anyone who dropped by to visit left with us saying, “Here, take a bucket of potatoes! Do you like cantaloupe? Please, take two!”
I love the parallel between the bounty we experienced and the plenitude in our lives. God blesses us so we can be a blessing to others (see Genesis 12:2). It’s as if each blessing we receive has seeds to share. We cannot contain nor keep them all for ourselves! With gratitude, we can extend God’s love to others.
As we cultivate thankfulness, our lives overflow with joy. As we acknowledge God’s grace and love in our lives, He doesn’t give just a little joy…He gives an abundance! God gives us blessings because of His loving kindness to us. Every good gift is from Him (see James 1:17).
I love these song lyrics by Walt Harrah:
“Think about His love
Think about His goodness
Think about His grace that’s brought us through
For as high as the heavens above
So great is the measure of our Father’s love
Great is the measure of our Father’s love”
As you recall the blessings in your life, write them down. Praise God as you reflect on what He has done for you in the past. Be thankful for the present and look forward to the future. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for.
Giving thanks goes beyond material things. Money cannot buy love, happiness, or gratefulness. Our relationships are the greatest blessings from God. Being together and celebrating His goodness in our lives is more important than the stuff we have.
At Thanksgiving, we visit loved ones and listen to heartwarming stories. We eat delicious food and take part in family traditions. Growing up, my family often had a few extra place settings around the table for friends with nowhere to go for the holiday.
Since college and now in Fargo, I too, have spent many Thanksgiving celebrations with families other than my own. Friends have invited me to their celebrations because of the distance and timing of school or work responsibilities. I’m grateful for the generosity of all those friends, who in many ways have become like family to me.
Hopefully, you’ll see loved ones this week. If not, don’t be discouraged. Instead, take heart. Choose joy. Turn worries into prayers. In every situation, give thanks (see 1 Thess. 5:16-18). God is a good Father and loving Provider. Rest assured there’s a place for you around His table! He longs to fill your life with goodness!
“Let us come before His presence with a song of thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with songs” (Psalm 95:2).
Father God, thank You for the beautiful world You have made. Thank You for providing good gifts to us! Thank You for the love of family and friends. Help us seek Your sweet and refreshing grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions: What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory? What are your greatest blessings? How can you be a blessing to others?