This is the week that America sets aside as a time of giving thanks. Why is that? Two past presidents of the United States made very specific declarations.
The National Thanksgiving Proclamation was the first formal proclamation of Thanksgiving in the United States. President George Washington declared Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.
And then President Lincoln proclaimed in 1863 during the American Civil War, a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.
What a wonderful heritage we enjoy from these important proclamations of honoring our Creator through a spirit of thanksgiving.
However much earlier, Paul the Apostle wrote in I Thessalonians we are to…”give thanks in all circumstances.” He knew that giving thanks was a form of joyfulness. That giving thanks actually lifts our spirits and that giving thanks connects us to God. He knew that a spirit of thankfulness is healthy for our minds, our physical health and our emotional health. I believe he also knew that thankfulness and gratitude help us in our relationship with God and others. How so?
Someone once said when we lose our thankfulness toward God, we begin to focus on what we feel God has not done and ultimately miss what He is doing. Could that also be true of our earthly relationships? When we stop being thankful for those around us, we could begin to focus on how they have disappointed us or how they frustrate us.
A spirit of thankfulness is contagious. What are you thankful for today and how can each of us maintain a spirit of giving thanks in all things as a lifestyle? Let me begin with saying I am thankful for those of you who take the time to read my blog!