I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving! It is my hope that you are spending this day surrounded by the presence and love of family and friends. There’s nothing quite like the opportunity to simply sit and share a meal and memories in thankfulness with those that we love. These opportunities should hold a special place in our heart, and we should elevate the gathering of loved ones to a place of importance in our life. Those we love are a gift of God, and we should honor that gift by not forsaking times of fellowship together.
Yesterday, I made the four hour trip from northeast Alabama, and I traveled home to Georgia to be with my family. As I sit here with them today, I am thankful that I have a loving family with which to celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday. At 80 years of age, my parents are still thriving. They are healthy and active. It thrills my heart to have the privilege of coming home and sharing moments of grace in their presence. I am blessed.
Today, I am thankful for the tremendous grace that God has showered down into my life. I’m thankful for Christ and the selfless sacrifice He demonstrated for me on the cross. I am thankful that, although I am unworthy, He chose to love me with His very life. Christ embraced my creation, absorbed my sin, and became my righteousness. His passion for my eternity was paid for with His innocence, and for that, I am eternally thankful.
I am thankful for family. Specifically, I am thankful for the love of my family. Throughout my life, the love of my family has been the foundation of our relationship and the gauge by which I evaluate other relationships in my life. They have set the standard very high, and for that I am thankful. They have been a constant source of strength, encouragement and love for forty-three years, and I hope they are around for many more.
My thankfulness runs much deeper than superficial holiday celebrations. I am thankful on a very deep and enduring level for every day that God allows me His precious gift of life. I am thankful for God using me in His ministry. I am thankful for friends and family who fill my life with great joy and wonderful memories. I am thankful for the American soldiers who have sacrificed so much for my freedom. I’m thankful that there are still men and women who are willing to place themselves between freedom and evil. To those who do so, I am thankful. I am thankful for a wonderful church and for those who give so much of themselves to enable ministries that matter. I am thankful for many things…
So, on this Thanksgiving Day, it is my hope that you enjoy the planned celebration of family and friends, but it is also my hope that you truly reflect on just how blessed you. Those blessings flow from a loving God whose intentions for us are those of peace, love and joy that are found only in Him.
Enjoy your day, laugh, reminisce, eat turkey, take pictures, make memories…and thank God for His extraordinary blessings!
Keith Beatty is a Worship, Missions and Media Pastor living in North Alabama. He's excited and very humbled to be a follower of Jesus Christ!