Today's post was written by BH member and small group leader, Carol Brown.
When you think of Thanksgiving, what images pop into your mind? Turkey? Cornbread dressing? Watching the Macy’s Parade on TV? Perhaps watching football with your family?
I grew up like many of you, spending Thanksgiving at my Grandmother and Granddad’s home in the country. That day was filled with wonderful smells of roast turkey, candied yams, and fresh pecan pie. There are so many memories that flood my mind and heart when I think of Thanksgiving at their farmhouse. It was a day of much anticipation, mostly about the turkey, because when I was growing up you only had turkey at Thanksgiving. So, Thanksgiving Day could be a little overwhelming for a kid. There was food in mass quantities and plenty of your favorites. We would all come together to eat more than we should of the traditional foods, and then top it all off with pumpkin pie and lemon cake. Oh, my grandmother’s lemon cake!
With our family, Thanksgiving was a lot about armchair quarterbacking, eating, and much about just being with family.
My granddad was a Baptist minister, so you can be sure our Thanksgiving was centered on thankfulness toward God for how He had provided for our family during the year. My granddad not only praised God for His loving kindness toward our family, but he sang His praises as well. Yes, he sang! He sang as my grandmother and mother worked in the kitchen preparing the meal. I can still hear him, as he would raise his voice when he came close to one of us kids and prompt us to join him. He loved the Lord and lived out his faith before his family.
Granddad could pray a beautiful blessing. I heard him many times, but at Thanksgiving, he always wanted one of us kids to say the blessing as he would pray with us.
I was too young to even remember him teaching me a simple child’s mealtime blessing:
God is Great, God is Good;
Let us thank Him for our food.
By His hands we all are fed,
Give us Lord our Daily Bread.
At an early age, I learned this blessing, and every time I was asked to say the blessing, I recited this prayer, “God is great, God is good.” All those years I spoke the words of this prayer without stopping to consider what life would be like if it were not true—if God was not great and if God was not good.
God is Great!
Jeremiah 10:6 tells us, “There is none like You, O LORD; You are great, and great is Your name in might.”
“Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom" (Psalms 45:3). Our minds are not capable of comprehending His greatness.
Mighty is His power…why should we not fear Him? His power is mighty enough to place the stars in the sky and then make them fall again. He is powerful enough to bring the lightning flashing across the sky and the thunder rolling with mighty force. Our God is powerful enough to raise the dead to life again, yet His power is gentle enough to make a newborn baby cry at birth. God is Great!
God is Good!
What if God was not good? Is a great and powerful God necessarily a good God? Our God is.
The greatness of the Almighty God sends us to our knees in humility, while the goodness of God lifts us back to our feet in grateful praise.
We have a God full of mercy, compassion, and loving kindness. We have a God who loves us unconditionally and always keeps His promises.
“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,” (Nahum 1:7)
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1)
“Let Israel now say, 'His mercy endures forever.' Let the house of Aaron now say, His mercy endures forever.' Let those who fear the Lord now say, 'His mercy endures forever.'" (Psalm 118:2-4)
“I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of drought” (Hosea 13:5). God is Good!
Let us thank Him for our food!
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)
He may not always provide what we want, and while it may not look at all how we expected, HE WILL PROVIDE.
“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (Psalms 47:25). Let us thank Him for our food!
By His hands we all are fed!
“I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.” (Hosea 11:4)
Our God is a great provider. Our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and we still doubt that He can provide for us.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Phil. 4:6). By His hands we all are fed!
Give us Lord our daily bread!
I believe this also means, "give us Lord our daily needs."
I have learned that He wants me depending on Him, so I come to Him daily for my needs. You see, He loves me, and He delights in showing His love toward me. This did not come easy for me. I went through many years of insecurity and fear that God would not provide “the way” I wanted Him to. I wanted my way, and I wanted to be in charge. Humbled and broken, I learned that God must be in charge of my life and that His way is the only way I find joy.
I can’t get proud, or He will bring me down. I have learned that He will keep me depending on Him, and how thankful I am for that!
He not only gives daily bread, He gives daily breath.
“I depend on God alone; I put my hope in Him. He alone protects and saves me; He is my defender, and I shall never be defeated.” (Psalms 62:5-6)
“However, as it is written: 'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived' - the things God has prepared for those who love him“ (1 Corinthians 2:9). Give us Lord our daily bread!
AMEN! “So Be It!”
So on this Thanksgiving Day, remember the little childhood prayer you prayed, and believe and know that it is true. God is Great, and God is Good!