So That … Thanksgiving Will Result
- Jodie Nelson Operation Blessing
- 2003 24 Nov
Safe shelter. Plenty to eat.
A choice of clothes. Shoes on my feet.
A loving family. A comfortable bed.
Friends to laugh with. Pillows for my head.
They are simple things that I’m thankful for
And each year I appreciate them more.
Eyesight to see. Books I can read.
Doctors close by. A staff to lead.
The ability to smile, the freedom to choose
Who to vote for… win or lose.
Strength for any task, Money to give.
A savior who died so that I can live.
The blessings go on, too numerous to mention
God is so good, He deserves my attention.
When I think of all He’s done, and how He first loved me
I want to bless Him back with a life lived generously!
Our forefathers were wise when they set aside a day, every year, for our nation to recount the goodness of the Lord to us. Just think of our jobs, our homes (with flush toilets!), the choices we have in every area of our lives. People in most other nations dare not even dream of a life like ours. God has truly made us rich in every way.
Why? Why of all people on earth are we so richly blessed?
It is not because we are greater, wiser, lovelier and more deserving than others. It is God’s amazing grace – our God; whose ways are higher than our ways and whose thoughts are higher than our thoughts. In pouring His grace on us He has several reasons.
First, God loves us; but since He loves the whole world that doesn’t fully explain our blessing.
Second, our nation was founded on Biblical principles, dedicated to Him, bathed in prayer that continues still, and we continue to benefit from His promise to bless the children of those who fear Him and obey His commands. I’m so thankful we had godly forefathers!
Third, we have been “made rich in every way so that we can be generous on every occasion, and that our generosity will result in thanksgiving to God!” II Cor. 9: 11
The Apostle Paul goes on to explain that God gives us everything we need so that we can abound in good works. We know, of course, works does not save us, but good works flow out of our love for and gratitude to God. The service God has in mind for us will provide for the needs of God’s people who are not now as amply supplied as we are; so that they can have a heart full of thanksgiving as well!
This is a truth I see in action virtually every day. Recently a mayor in Romania shared with me that her village of 3000 people had no running water. Even in the dead of winter they have to use outside pumps to draw water. She explained to me with desperation the hardship this causes the people, especially the very young and the very old.
Before the end of the day I was able to tell her that because of the generosity of caring Christians through Operation Blessing, her village would have a municipal well providing them plenty of fresh, pure water for their homes before year’s end. The news brought tears of joy to her. When she was finally able to speak again, she couldn’t stop giving thanks to God and his people!
Shortly after that I was in Guatemala providing food and medicines to thousands of precious people struggling to survive in rural mountain villages. They could not express their thanks enough for the help God sends them through people just like you.
Thanksgiving Day is a time to recount the many blessings of God to you, your family, and our nation. It is a time to celebrate the goodness and greatness of God and a time to ask God how the blessings He has so richly bestowed on you can overflow into the lives of others.
Take time to jot down some simple action steps you can take personally and with your family. God has gifted you to bless others, around the corner or around the world. As you give others something to be thankful for, God will do more so for you! He says so.
Here are a few of His promises:
God will “make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”! 2 Cor 9: 8.
God will “increase your store of seed” (that’s material provision) ! 2 Cor 9: 10
God will “enlarge your harvest of righteousness” (that’s spiritual blessing)! 2 Cor 9:10
Isn’t is amazing! God blesses us, so we can bless others, so He can bless us more. That is worth celebrating. Happy Thanksgiving!
Visit Operation Blessing (www.ob.org) to get a Calendar of Caring filled with ideas on how you can bless others around the corner or around the world. Jodie Nelson oversees all aspects of the national Outreach Program activity, providing guidance and resources for ongoing programs and community development projects.