Thanksgiving is about much more than just family, food and football. It’s about blessings.
“As Christians, we always want to cultivate thankfulness in our lives,” Christian author Larry Tomczak said. “Recall how Jesus healed 10 lepers, yet only one came back to say thank you. God gives us a directive, not an elective: `In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ We need to develop the habit of giving thanks `in’ everything, not necessarily `for’ everything, that comes our way.”
Tomczak shared 10 specific blessings for which Christians can be thankful.
- Thank God for sending his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who lived a sinless life and then died the death we deserved in our place.
- Thank God for the gift of freedom upon which America was uniquely founded. Ours is the nation that was established on the principle that “all men are created equal” and enjoy certain rights that do not come from a dictator, king or government but from the living God.
- Thank God for the bountiful varieties of food we enjoy every single day. Hunger is the No. 1 cause of death in the world. Fifteen million children die yearly and 21,000 die daily because of this. One-third of the world is starving, while one-third is underfed.
- Thank God for our health, medical technology and personnel who keep us healthy. In the 1990s, more than 100 million children died from illness and starvation alone. Yearly, more than one million children die from preventable diseases, such as diarrhea and pneumonia, because they lack treatment we easily take for granted.
- Thank God for our eyes and the phenomenal gift of sight. Jesus called the eye “the lamp of the body.” Cover your eyes for a moment and imagine what it’s like to live in darkness like some do. Would you take $1 million for your eyes?
- Thank God for our parents and the promise that God gives: “Honor your father and your mother … that your days may be long and that it may be well with you” (Deut. 5:16).
- Thank God for clean running water available in our sinks, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets. More than one billion people lack access to clean drinking water, which yields sickness and complex problems.
- Thank God for policemen, firemen, garbage collectors, 911 first responders and others who protect us, especially men and women in the military.
- Thank God for the wonderful gift of electricity. More than one-quarter of the human population does not have access to any electricity. What would life be like without the multitude of items in our homes powered by electricity?
- Thank God for our teachers and education, whether it’s public, private or done at home. One out of every four children in America grows up without the ability to read. Sixty percent of inmates in prison are illiterate. What a blessing to have teachers and the gift of learning.