Today’s the day – Thanksgiving, 2016. The day that we pause and take a moment to give thanks for all the blessings that we have had this past year. It’s difficult to believe that another year is almost in the books and starting Friday, the Christmas season will once again be upon us. It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating the birth of our Savior and although it is something that we should remember all the time, we just don’t seem to be in the spirit of remembrance until the month of December starts to roll around.
Thanksgiving, for some reason, seems to be a somewhat forgotten holiday. It gets sandwiched in between Halloween and Christmas, but certainly deserves a little time of its own. More and more, people are heading to restaurants and failing to cook the traditional feast at home. In fact, the Indy paper had an article today listing 18 places that families could go to celebrate Thanksgiving by eating out.
And need I say anything about Black Friday, that has now turned into monster shopping for discounts on Thanksgiving as well? It seems like such a travesty – but that’s the way of the world these days. Personally, I just don’t care to be a part of it. I spent the day cooking turkey and remembering the blessings this past year.
Another article I read in the paper today caught my attention and I immediately thought about it as the subject of tonight’s post. It was about a man who wrote a letter about being thankful – and it was to his biological mother who put him up for adoption right after he was born. At first I was surprised but the man thanked his birth mother for her decision to give him away. It seems that he has had a wonderful life, raised by a loving “mother” and “father” – and he is crazy about his two nieces. He went on to say that her choice to put him up for adoption started a chain reaction of events that have made his life more fulfilling and fruitful than he could ever imagine.
Now we will never know what his life would have been like had he stayed with his genetic family, but he didn’t dwell on that aspect of the story. He is so grateful for the way things have turned out that he considers himself blessed beyond belief. Of course, that was a point of view that I hadn’t considered for those among us who have been adopted.
And, it got me thinking about each of us and how we, as believers, have all been adopted by God. That’s right – we are all adopted sons and daughters. And like the man in the article, we should all be grateful beyond belief for how our eternal lives have turned out. We also don’t know how our lives would have been without having been adopted – and once again, like the man this morning, it really doesn’t make any difference – we have been blessed beyond our wildest imaginations.
Our verse for this evening highlights the fact that God knew He wanted to adopt us as sons and daughters. The apostle Paul tells us, in his letter to the Ephesians in Ephesians 1:3-7, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
My encouragement tonight is that God has always known that He wanted us – and that should make us feel special. My prayer is that on this Thanksgiving Day we might all take a few minutes to give thanks for having been sought after by God – ensuring our ability to become part of the family of God – an eternal blessing. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…