Thanksgiving and Toilet Paper

I am sure I got your attention with the title for this post. Smile.

Being part of a large family, holidays are interesting when you gather around forty people together to celebrate. Once such Thanksgiving in 1994 stands out, as that was the year our Dad passed away. As my Mom and siblings and their children gathered around a circle to pray and share what we were thankful for many of the usual answers were given. Those answers included thankful for health, family, God’s grace and forgiveness until it came to my brother-in-law Roy’s turn. In six quick words, Roy reminded us of the simple things of life that we many times take for granted. Those six words that Roy spoke were simply, “I am thankful for toilet paper.” Talking about changing what had become an emotional time as we reflected on the loss of our Dad, those words did it. I will never forget the lesson that Roy taught me; be thankful for everything no matter how small or how large.

It is so easy to take things for granted. We live in a wonderful, free country. Most of us are well fed. Most of us have a roof over our heads, and money in our pockets and toilet paper. It’s true, we might not be as well off as some, but compared to most of the world we are rich. We are not only blessed materially, we are blessed with friends, family, and a future. But, in spite of all this, we are sometimes slow to acknowledge our blessings. Because we have grown so accustomed to them, we take them for granted. It’s easy to do. Occasionally we need to be reminded of just what we have been taking for granted, and what we have to be thankful for. It is at special times, like Thanksgiving, that we are able to focus our attention on the things which really count.

This American holiday of Thanksgiving is a special time of the year. It is a time when we look back on the blessings God has given us, and a time when we look forward to the blessings we will enjoy in eternity. Additionally, we can focus in on the present and celebrate the greatest gift of all, the gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

There are so many reasons to be thankful.

We can be thankful for the gift of eternal life through Christ; for the promises of God, which are all yes in Christ; for the blessings of life which God gives us; for what thanksgiving does for us inwardly, replacing hatred, bitterness, unforgiveness, and envy; and for what thanksgiving does for us outwardly, making us a pleasure to be around. But while there are many reasons to be thankful, perhaps there is one reason which rises above them all.

Thanksgiving is really the only thing we have to give to God.

When you think of it, all the other material things are things we have been given. But our thanksgiving is ours. It is uniquely ours. It is something we choose to do. It is an offering of praise to God. It is something that gladdens His heart.

And yes, I am truly thankful for toilet paper.

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