Thankful for Bananas & Vacations
By Kathi Woodall –
Last Thanksgiving I was driving in my van with my then four year old daughter. From the back seat her little voice piped up, “Is Thanksgiving the day we thank Jesus for things?” I smiled and told her it is.
She continued, “Like grass?”
“Yes, like grass,” I answered.
“Yes, and trees.”
Her list continued, “For apples and pears?”
“Yep, apples and pears.”
“Even bananas.” I began wondering how long her list was going to go.
“Yes,” I answered aloud while silently thinking, “It’s a long car ride; I can keep this game up awhile.”
“Yes, thankful for cars.”
“And hotels and vacations?”
I burst out laughing as her list suddenly took a turn from the practical and necessary to the fun and fanciful. I knew she’d crack me up eventually and apparently this was her desired objective as her list came to an end at this point. At that time we had no travel plans for the holiday season and her last hotel and vacation experience had been several months previous. However, the idea of a vacation and the fun of a hotel are always forefront in her little mind.
In the Old Testament, the primary Hebrew word translated as thanksgiving does not denote a mere listing of all the things for which we are thankful. First and foremost for the Israelites, thanksgiving was preceded by confession. Confession, and the resulting forgiveness, overflowed into praise and thanksgiving to God.
I have much to be thankful for this season. Like my youngest, I am thankful for creation, food, a home, and even vacations. I could add more to her list as well. Most of all, though, I am thankful I can come before a loving Heavenly Father in a spirit of confession. I am thankful that when I do, He turns my tears of repentance into tears of joy. I am thankful for His Son who died to make that relationship possible and who will return again to establish a kingdom of peace on earth. Finally, I am thankful for His Spirit who guides and helps me as I walk this earthly journey.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courts with praise;
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalm 100:4-5 NIV)