Thanksgiving Day is a lot like Father's Day. Both days remind us to express our love and to show special appreciation.
Our fathers are like our heavenly Father in some ways. Tell your father that you plan to have a special day in his honor, and he might ask with a twinkle, "Am I invited?"
God asks the same question. Many families will have a special day and call it Thanksgiving, but then will spend only a few moments making a long-distance thank-you call to God. The one they should have invited will be far, far away.
Other families will have their heavenly Father for an honored guest because He has been in their home all year.
Your father might also ask, "Can I be myself on my day; or must I dress up and go where you take me?"
Some people have a special day in the Lord's Name but then plan the day to suit themselves. Spending the hours watching football would be one example. But God, unlike some of our fathers, will not be embarrassed into looking pleased just because we say we are having a special day for Him.
No doubt some fathers ask their children, "Will you sit down and talk to me, or will you be rushing around all day?" What could a father enjoy more than just to have his children around him, soaking up their nearness and friendship?"
On Thanksgiving Day, our heavenly Father, too, looks around for people who, in their hearts say, "Lord, thank You not only for what You give but also for what You are. I love You for Yourself."
When Father's special day is over, he ask that inevitable question: "When will I see you again?" That is really an appropriate question.
Thanksgiving Day isn't supposed to be a time of thanking God enough to get rid of our guilt for not having thanked Him the rest of the year. It is supposed to be a reminder, so that we remember to thank God more often every day. It is supposed to draw us closer to our heavenly Father. The Lord wants to hear from us again the next day, and the day after that.
The fact is, God never asked us to have a special Thanksgiving Day; but He has asked us to have a "Lord's Day" once a week (1 Corinthians 16:2; Acts 20:7; Hebrews 10:25). Do you think God is satisfied when we keep a special Thanksgiving Day but neglect to keep the same Lord's Day His disciples faithfully kept after the resurrection?
Once in a while, some thoughtful father startles everyone with a surprise of his own—a treat, a gift, a check, or a bouquet. Then, of course, the only way to please him is to take it. Nothing pleases him more than to see his gifts received with joy.
God also makes a special offer today. Are you asking, as King David did, "What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?" The answer is simple: "I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD" (Psalm 116:13).
The best, most loving thing we can do for the Lord is not to give, but to take—to take the cup of salvation. The day you receive His salvation will be the happiest day of your life.
—David L. Martin