Just Turkey
Off the Wall, November 24, 2016

When we think of Thanksgiving, what is the first thing that comes to mind? In all probability, it’s a day of feasting on turkey. Next, it’s the joining of family, friends and football.

Over and above that, it’s cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and all the trimmings followed by an abundance of extra foods.

It’s not uncommon that relatives will travel from near and far to gather at one particular destination for the celebration. Both men and women will be in the kitchen cooking and making preparations for the big dinner. Aunt Ilse may even bring her specialty dish, Uncle David the cookies, and the in-laws bottles of wine.

But when we come right down to it, what is ready meant by the word, “Thanksgiving?” It is a day of observance whereby we give thanks to God. Where would we be if He didn’t provide us with the many blessings He’s given us over the many years?

Let’s start at the very beginning. If He hadn’t created the fowl and seed for all our provisions to grow, we wouldn’t have the nourishment that we need for the sustenance of our bodies. Instead, we would we would be scraping the barrel for something to eat. All in all, we would not have that lavishness for these gigantic meals or even a day of observance every November.

What about the creation of the fowl or the rains to wet the soil enabling the crops to grow? Who but God could make them in such a way that these creatures would instinctively know how to fetch food or suck in the water that contained nutrients for them to grow?

And once they became mature, who but our Creator instinctively taught them how to mate or pollinate. Things didn’t just happen by themselves. He had a hand in everything that went from stage to stage.

Then man was created, and shortly after, woman. They propagated and families were formed. Through the teachings of the Holy Spirit, they were taught how to manage the fowl and grow the crops.

Over the years, specialized growers known as farmer made it their livelihood to raise turkey and crops. They would sell them to wholesalers and, in turn, to merchants. Customers would purchase these commodities and gradually gatherings were formed and grow into groupings to the point that we have today.

So, it only makes sense that we give thanks to God for all of the above.

But consider all the additional blessings that have been added in our country over the years. We have such freedoms that other countries don’t have. In my opinion, the Bill of Rights spells them out very clearly. We can go and come freely, in most cases, without someone looking our shoulders. I state in most cases, because of the criminal activity that exists throughout our nation.

We had the luxury to vote back on November 8 and even before that. Maybe the candidate of our choice wasn’t nominated, but we could mark our ballots as we saw fit.

Some of us are blessed with opportunities that many take for granted. This includes affluence, education and job opportunities. Other individuals are born with talents that many people don’t possess. Singing, acting or painting are just three examples.

For those who are abiding by Christ’s Word, the Holy Scriptures talk about spiritual gifts in1 Corinthians 12, beginning with verse 7. It reads: “To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given is given to some benefit. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; 10 to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernments; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.”

God also blesses us with the fruits of the Spirit. Found in Galatians 5: 22, “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

Least we not forget Christ’s death on the cross for our sinfulness and through our belief and faithfulness salvation. Through our steadfast dedication may we have eternal life.

Is Thanksgiving just about turkey and the trimmings to go with it? This holiday, thank and praise God for all our many blessings.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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