I preached a Thanksgiving sermon this morning. Then Tonya hit the Mcdonalds drive-thru tonight and picked up some supper. Let me combine those two events of my day and give you a good thought, Christian.
Let’s say that a father takes his child to Mcdonalds for french-fries. Once they have their order and are seated at a table, the father tests the child by asking, “Do you love me more than you love these french-fries?” The child has to think for a moment but finally answers, “Yes.” Do you know why that was the right choice? It’s because it’s better to love the source of the blessing rather than the blessing itself.
You see, if that father had much money in his wallet, he could buy fries for all the people in the restaurant. The fact that he bought fries especially for his child showed that he loved that child and wanted to have an intimate time of fellowship with that child. The point is, the real gift was the father, not the fries. The fries were merely a byproduct of the far more important thing: the unique relationship with the father.
I have two wonderful boys, and I enjoy filling their lives with pleasing things such as food, clothing, comfortable beds, balls, bats, gloves, toys, televisions, and Playstation systems. But they should appreciate me more than the stuff that I give them. New stuff gets manufactured and purchased every day, but there is only one me. Ryan and Royce don’t have another earthly father. I’m it. That makes me infinitely more important than anything I can buy them.
As we enter into this Thanksgiving week, I’ll ask you to do something: Spend some time thanking God for His person. Don’t just be thankful for the blessings He has bestowed upon you, blessings such as family, friends, health, peace of mind, home, money, and possessions. That’s just the child thanking the father for the french-fries. Be sure to thank God even more for simply being who He is.
Christian, if all you can do is thank God for the blessings that He sends your way, what will you do if those blessings get taken away? That happened to Job. Chapters 1 and 2 of his book describe how he lost his wealth, his children, and his health. But over the course of the rest of the book, Job learns to thank God merely for being who He is. Could you or I offer up any thanks if we lost all the blessings that Job lost? That’s a good question to ponder over the next few days. Hopefully, by Thursday, the thanks we offer up to God will be more mature and insightful than any we’ve ever offered up before on Thanksgiving.