For many people, next week will be four days off of work for gorging on food, football, and frenzied shopping.
For others, the celebration of giving thanks is an opportunity to indulge in blessings remembered and to renew thanksgiving as a way of life.
As a way of life, thanksgiving offers paybacks exponentially higher than 5% cash back on a credit card. Whatever else we do in pursuit of health in body and mind, heart and soul, the exercise of giving thanks returns a plethora of rewards for a person's well being, and peace is first on the list.
Peace with Life
"A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves." So said Henry Ward Beecher, and so I have observed to be true, foremost of myself. When I believe I should have more than I do—more wealth, more health, more esteem—I am not at peace with life. But when I see myself as a worm who is unworthy to live in a free country amid plenty, or as a sinner undeserving of God's mercy grace and forgiveness, I am then utterly amazed that my Creator has blessed me as He has. In such a condition, I am at peace with life and know contentment in the midst of trial.
Peace with People
The same humble spirit necessary to heartfelt gratitude enables peace with even the most contentious scoundrels. God's Word directs, "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men." (Romans 12:18, NKJV) If some scoundrel will not be at peace with me, I will yet be at peace with him (wherever possible), ready to see the opportunity to return thanks to him (whenever possible), channeling to him the abundant grace poured out upon me (however possible). And, perchance, he (or she) will come to know peace with me in the process.
Peace with God
Truth be told, this is hardly different than peace with life. For God is Giver of life and all its complements. No circumstance of life arrives absent the permission of Almighty God. I would believe that my complaint about circumstance benignly evaporates, the thin air into which it was breathed dissipating its substance. Yet is complaint not a plaintiff's testimony against God's goodness, carried into the world and heavenly realms alike, summoning the Lord as Defendant and declaring my opposition to His sovereignty? On the other hand, the plea to receive strength and wisdom for a test is to invite His grace. And to offer testimony of thanks is to proclaim God wise and good and righteous and loving, declaring myself at peace with Him.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so.
~ Psalm 107:1-2 (NKJV)
Next time: Second Thanksgiving Payback – Protection
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Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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