Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34 HCSB)
Thanksgiving is a week from away. The kids will be out of school which means I’ll be home with them. They are my biggest distraction, so I thought I would post my thoughts on thankfulness now while I’m thinking about it.
So . . . Thanksgiving, a day to spend time with family, but to also reflect on the things we are thankful for. How do you do that? When someone asks me what I’m thankful for, I automatically want to list things that everyone thinks is important, so that I don’t seem shallow; salvation through Jesus Christ, what God has done in my life, and a Savior who loves us all.
Yet, I don’t want to list all the generic answers either, because, of course, I’m thankful for those also. Like, my health, the health of my kids and husband, or my job, despite how important those things are to me.
But there is many little thinks to be thankful for that are just as important me and to God. Things like slowly (and sometimes impatiently) paying off debt, time alone to myself, Friday nights when we don’t have anything we have to go to, the excitement of watching a soccer game, the beautiful reds and oranges of a sunset, a rainbow, sunshine after several days of rain and camping when I don’t have to do the cooking and cleaning. I could probably think of many others, but I think you get the picture.
But why should we be thankful?
Well . . . we are not just supposed to be thankful, but to thank God for everything. In Psalms 136 it says:
- Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
His love is eternal.
- Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love is eternal.
- Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His love is eternal. (HCSB)
The Holman’s Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) is a nice version of the Bible because it’s easy to understand. But, sometimes I need a little bit more clarification, and I want to know what it means by, “His love is eternal.” So, I like to look at other versions of the Bible to see if the wording is a little bit different. It’s not always different, but this is what I found:
The American Standard Version (ASV) says,
“For his lovingkindness endureth for ever.”
The New King James Version (NKJV) says,
“For His mercy endures forever.”
The Message (MSG) says,
“His love never quits.”
I find it interesting that each version words this part of the verse differently and yet it gives it a deeper meaning for me. American Standard Version makes lovingkindness one word. It makes so much sense. He isn’t just loving or having kindness, but is lovingkindness. As for New King James Version, don’t we all need mercy?
You see, God’s love has a deeper meaning than what we give to love. We have different versions of love. We say we love our parents. But, it’s a little bit different than the love we have for our children. We say we love our spouse, our boyfriend, or girlfriend. Yet, it’s completely different from when we say we love chocolate or pizza.
I believe God’s love encompasses all of those things. It includes lovingkindness and mercy. I love that the Message says it never quits. Isn’t that the perfect way to describe forever?
So, this Thanksgiving, think of all the big and little things you’re thankful for and don’t just be thankful, but give thanks to God. Because it all comes from him anyway.
Lord, thank you. Thank you for sending Jesus as a little baby who grew up to be not just my Savior but the Savior of the world. Thank you for my health and the health of my family. Thank you for the sunsets and rainbows.