Thanksgiving: A Time for Reflection
Thanksgiving is a great time for reflection. Have you ever stopped to think about what reflection is? Technically, reflection is "the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it", such as "the reflection of light". Sometimes a reflection is accurate, sometimes distorted. It also means "serious thought or consideration." Reflection is thinking, considerating, contemplating, pondering.
Probably more than any other time of year, Thanksgiving is a good time for reflection. It's a holiday that doesn't expect too much of us in terms of outward observance. We aren't expected to put up decorations or purchase any gifts. There's no neighborhood contest for best decorated house, and no one expects a gift. In our fast-paced, high-expectation, deadline-keeping, demanding world we certainly need times like that. Yes, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to prepare the best meal and a restful atmosphere for our guests, sometimes wearing ourselves out in the process, but thankfully, there just aren't a lot of expectations placed on us at Thanksgiving beyond just being who we are with people we care about. Your subculture may be crazy, but overall, Thanksgiving is pretty safe. Thanksgiving gives space for reflection. The biggest requirement Thanksgiving puts on believers is to be thankful to God and express it in as many ways as we can.
As I reflect upon my life I can see the hand of God leading, guiding, protecting, and providing for me in ways that are nothing short of miraculous, because God has done it. I'm sure you can see these things in your own life as well. Reflect with me on God's leading, guiding, protecting, and providing:
He shows the way we are to go. His sovereign will unfolding before our eyes, and His clear, commanded will there before our eyes on a daily basis in the written Word of God. "He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads m beside quiet waters." (Psalm 23:2)
When you look at your life you will see many things that you never could have planned or imagined. You will realize that their has been an unseen hand guiding ever step. "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will guide you with my eye upon you." (Psalm 32:8)
When you consider your life you will see times God has delivered you from evil, shielded you from suffering, cared for you in calamity, when it was so obviously not in your power to do so. "The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life." (Psalm 121:7)
When you think back over your life you can probably see many things that God has allowed that you wouldn't have chosen. Things that were painful but good for your ultimate growth. God's provision is personal, promised, practical, and in proportion to His absolute sovereignty and majesty. "And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:19)
If you are thankful for the mercy God has showered on you, if you live to the praise of His glorious grace in Christ, if your heart is brimful of love for the Savior who first loved you and died in your place, then you will thank God for every other good and perfect gift He gives to bless you, sanctify you, refine you, and make you more like Jesus. As you reflect on God's goodness you reflect His glory.