The holiday season is rolling in. Thanksgiving is about a week away. Some stores are already selling at “Black Friday Prices.”
I love Thanksgiving; I hate Black Friday.
Let us start with the good news.
I love Thanksgiving. I love turning on the television early in the morning and watching the parades. After 50-plus years, the giant balloons are still my favorite part of the show. I enjoy the smell of the house. Yes, there have been times it smelled like charred newspaper, but usually, the smells of cooked turkey, corn on the cob, and other taste bud delights are prominent.
Seeing the family is high on the list of Thanksgiving enjoyments. Occasionally, someone is missing, but usually, the family crowd is together. It is a blessing that none of my children live more than an hour and a half away.
During the Thanksgiving season, the church will have a Thanksgiving fellowship, usually a Sunday or two before the holiday. Another meal and more time with friends and family.
Most joyous of all, my favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the reminder of all that God has done for me. He has forgiven my sin, has saved my soul, cleansed my heart, and made me whole. God has given me my wife, my children and grandchildren, the church, and countless friends. I have a roof over my head, and when it is freezing outside, He has provided a furnace and blankets.
I am not materially wealthy, in fact, a recent article in Investopedia (June 4, 2019), places me within the “lower-income” class, but He has blessed me in so many other ways that I can say, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
Now to the bad news, or why I hate black Friday.
I do not hate Black Friday because of the crowds. No reason to hate the crowds if you do not leave your home.
It is not because the stores offer deals, it’s not the fact that so many people run to the stores, it is because it is such a high priority, it has made the idea of thankfulness toward God almost nonexistent.
Many households will spend hours searching through sale adds, and not one minute in thankfulness or praise to God. This imbalance saddens my heart.
There are 10 things throughout Psalm 107 for which the Psalmist expresses thanks.
1. God’s mercy (Psalm 107:1).
2. God’s redemption (Psalm 107:2).
3. God’s deliverance (Psalm 107:3-6).
4. God’s leading (Psalm 107:7).
5. The satisfaction of the soul (Psalm 107:9).
6. Salvation from life’s troubles (Psalm 107:10-13).
7. Freedom from darkness (Psalm 107:14).
8. Salvation by His Word from distress (Psalm 107:16-20).
9. Guidance, deliverance, and safety from the storms of life (Psalm107: 22-30).
10. God’s reaction to wickedness and the visibility of His righteousness (Psalm 107:32-43).
If you paid close attention, you would have noticed that five verses of the Psalm do not appear on the list above — verses 8, 15, 21 and 31.
All five verses are word for word, the same.
Have you ever bent over backward to help someone, and in the end, they were not appreciative, showing no gratitude whatsoever? Remember how upsetting it was that not even a “thank you” was received? That verse, repeated four times in one Psalm, is God’s expression of the same feelings — “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
I wonder if this is how God feels on Thanksgiving Day, or Black Friday, or any other day of the year for that matter?
Purchase whatever you will on Thanksgiving and the day after, but please, for God’s sake, be thankful to Him for it.
Johnson is the pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County, Indiana. Webpage: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail: 410 S. Jefferson St., Rockville IN 47872.