I have always loved Thanksgiving. It could be the change of weather, the Fall color scheme, the natural increase in my eating habits, or being with family. But I suspect it’s because it’s a time when everyone pauses to be thankful. Early on, our family began a tradition of looking back and reflecting on God’s goodness to us by writing down how God showed up in the last year. We read these “remembrance stones” each year before writing about what happened in the prior year. We got (stole) the idea from Joshua. In Joshua 4, after the entire nation of Isreal crossed the Jordan river, Joshua commanded a leader from the twelve tribes to grab a stone from the river and put them down where they stay. Why? “In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
Reflection is Good for the Soul
Sometimes it is good to reflect on the past because it can cause us to look up, putting the focus back on God rather than ourselves or circumstances. It’s not a secret that the post-COVID world has presented us with challenges, like supply issues delaying repairs or purchases, inflation robbing us of our buying power, and need I mention how it has divided us as people? And for churches, including Sunridge, it has meant lower attendance and giving. Yet, when looking at the rich history of our church, it’s impossible not to see God working, providing, guiding, and showing up repeatedly in the most unexpected and beautiful ways.
Responding to Thankfulness
Recently I was reading 1 Chronicles 29. It was a time of celebration as Solomon was to become the next King. His father and current King, David, wants to build a temple for God. What stood out to me was that David did not demand people donate; instead, he encouraged them to give out of thankfulness for what God has given them. 1 Chronicles 29:9 says, “The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord.” Doesn’t that sound a lot like what the Apostle Paul said to the church in Corinth, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)?
This Thanksgiving season, can I encourage you to pause and reflect on the goodness of God in your life? As you do, would you be willing to do two things:
- Share what you are thankful for in the comments on this post to encourage others.
- Prayerfully consider supporting Sunridge for Giving Tuesday on November 29. If God has blessed you this year, and you want to respond to God’s goodness cheerfully, click the button below to find out more.