I'm Not Thankful For Gravy

I'm Not Thankful For Gravy

Snow reaches the bottom of the windows and the macho teen boys take turns jumping from the deck above into the fresh white fluff. Dads stand in the cold air of the deck sipping steaming mugs of strong liquid. Moms chatter as they prepare the Thanksgiving meal for 25 while the girls sit around the fire and warm frozen limbs from the day of skiing. Picturesque to say the least.

Our family travelled to my dad’s boss’s cabin at Shaver Lake, CA  many times a year and with 5 stories and room for 25 to sleep comfortably, it seemed a bit incongruent to call it a cabin. Tradition dictated that we bring a large crowd-a picture perfect holiday.

In those days, it was easy to be thankful. I was well-provided for, had lifelong friendships, good health, and a future waiting for whatever I wanted to pursue. Thanksgiving was a no brainer. Maybe even an afterthought.

I miss those days of easy gratitude.

Like many, the last few years have hit us below the belt.

Now,there is that brief but pregnant moment that happens as I lay down the dish of streusel-topped sweet potatoes among the Fall leaves that decorate the table.  I take my seat. It has become a moment where though I am grateful, it feels like cinching on a girdle after the feasting has finished. A deep breath that swirls into my lungs searching for some praise to scoop up from inside and exhale in order to release the pressure.

It’s uncomfortable to dig for gratitude when it surfaces so easily for others on Facebook and Instagram.

As I read the letters in my inbox from so many who are hurting and simply want life to end, I consider what reason they have to live and to give thanks. I carry their burden and I can't chirp about how grateful I am for hot cocoa or a newborn puppy. Maybe someday, but not now.

Easter is many months off, but I believe that for those who are sick of life and sick at heart, the image of a God-Man ransomed and risen is the cure.

I once was lost. But now I’m found. Was blind. But now I see. I look out over a chasm of sin and see the sacrificial Lamb as a ransom for me.

I was bought with a price. His life for mine. Now my life for Him. You won’t hear me giving thanks for all my many blessings.  But you will hear the deep exhale of a woman who recognizes that God gave me His best gift first in the form of His Son on the cross.

The platter of turkey rounds the table and the boat of gravy follows. The life of the Son poured out for me bows my head in humble Thanksgiving. I realize that I have more to be thankful for than a lifetime of gratitude could ever express and the fullness of my heart leaves no room to speak of any other blessings. I pray over the names of those who write to me from places of want-that they too can recognize the feast laid out before them. I pray that we will all know that His grace is enough and everything else, is just gravy.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

YOUR TURN! Is this an easy or difficult season of Thanksgiving for you?

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Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory. Psalm 115:1

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