Thanksgiving Like No Other

Scripture: Psalm 34:1-10

Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.

I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Meditation

As we prepare for the celebration of Thanksgiving, it is no secret that we are supposed to be thinking about things that we are thankful for.  We are reminded of pilgrims who had nothing, barely surviving their first year in North America, and celebrating a “feast” that would likely appear meager to us by today’s standards.  Many will ask around the table this Thanksgiving holiday, what we are thankful for and will, undoubtedly, struggle to find answers.
 
2020 has been a rough year.  It is likely that your Thanksgiving celebration will look like no other you have experienced in your life.  It may be lacking people or comfort, depending on where you find yourself.  There is much that would take our focus off of the many blessings we experience daily as both the People of God in Christ and as citizens of the United States of America.
 
As I reflect on this Psalm, the title line is telling.  David is “extolling the Lord” despite the fact that he has just survived an encounter with an enemy king by pretending to be insane.  He is the Lord’s anointed King of Israel and yet he was humbled to the point of feigning insanity, drooling on himself amongst other things, in order that he might get away from an enemy’s clutches.
 
Yet, reflecting on this later, David praises the Lord.  He could have been dismayed at the humility he felt, acting like a fool in front of royalty.  What he recognizes, though, is God’s work of protection and deliverance that has taken place.  Truly God’s faithfulness was on display here.
 
It would truly be easy for us to focus on the negative this year.  Less family, more restrictions, pandemic, and politics.  There is so much that could be said.  David chose to glorify the Lord despite his constant trials, and what we see… what he sees time and again is God’s continued faithfulness.  As he writes, “those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
 
I wonder what this looks like for us in our current situation?  When we choose to look for the good things that the Lord is doing rather than at the difficulties of our situation, perhaps we will gain a new perspective, not just on our current situation and the things for which we have and give thanks, but also on what the Lord is preparing us for as we continue to move forward in Him.

Prayer

Omnipotent and eternal God, you watch over your children, with your tender and loving care. I thank you this day for your mercy and grace. I am grateful for your healing power, and for the abundant blessings, you have given me. But most of all, I am thankful for the promise of salvation, given through your Son, our Lord. Through him, when all is completed, there will be no more sickness or pain. I pray in his name. Amen.  (written by David Bennett)

Leave a Reply