My Dad used to say “even pigs grunt before they eat”. Makes one think a wee bit, or at least should.
I know that in a pig there is most likely no awareness of a God to whom to be grateful but it does bring us to a real question; What is wrong with us that we are not more thankful for what we have in our lives?
A crazy thing in the USA at Thanksgiving is that there are many expressions of thanks for the bounty that is available and then the next day there is ‘Black Friday’, where it appears the whole world is now going nuts over getting stuff that they were seemingly perfectly happy without the day before. Go figure!
So what is the problem? To me it appears that lust that we have control of and rule, instead of it ruling us, is not in and of itself a bad thing.
It is desire, lust and greed that too often takes control of people’s lives and drives them from thankfulness to just trying to grasp for everything that can be gotten.
I get it in the area of tech toys, new mobiles, new computer kit, cars - I love cars. So we each have those things that we can get carried away desiring in an unhealthy way to the point of not being thankful.
A few verses that jump to mind every year at this time is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 where the scriptures says: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
James 4:1-3 as well shares a similar thought as it asks and answers the questions of: “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members (body)? You lust and do not have.
You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss (for the wrong reason), that you may spend (or as the old AV says Consume) it on your own pleasures.”
The problem is not that desire is wrong, the problem is that we just want to fill our own pleasure and if we are not careful that basic desire leads to bigger problems that leak out into the world we live in. It is that old saying of ‘No man is an island’ that rings true for each of us as we live this life mixed into society.
So as I face the American Thanksgiving this week, I truly want to be thankful and follow the example of Jesus himself in John 6, at the feeding of the 5000, where he “took loaves and when he had given thanks he distributed them to the disciples and the disciple to those sitting down.”
Thing is I love this event as it reminds me of family and friends and gives me a chance to stop and think about being thankful for God’s goodness in my life.
May we be truly thankful,
Rev. Jon Bergen
Brechin Baptist Fellowship