The Shadow of Thanksgiving

Written by Jack Hayford
The Shadow of Thanksgiving

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Colossians 3:17

The splendor of the Thanksgiving season shines never so splendidly as it does in places and in hearts where the shadows of pain or disappointment are unable to dim the radiance of praise to God. Notwithstanding trials they’re traversing or difficulties being navigated, a multitude of souls are possess by a wisdom this Thanksgiving Day that is rooted in the reality of God’s unchanging goodness.

These heroes of thanksgiving know that because He has never been nor ever will be the source of their struggles, there is never reason to cease worshiping Him. Their praise is unstinted because they laud God’s faithfulness to them even though present stresses would test that resolve.

Just as the angle of late autumn’s sun casts longer shadows in our hemisphere, so there are seasons of our soul that introduce events and eventualities that stretch traces of darkness across otherwise bright days. And just as November’s fogs often dampen our mornings, so this season bespeaks how life’s transitions seem to block the sun for today or blur our vision of tomorrow.

But there is a breed of believer that never relents praising—come fog or shadow.

This Thanksgiving they’re at tables where their praise will rise to God for His multitudinous mercies, bountiful blessings, unflagging faithfulness and glorious goodnesses everywhere. Even though less discerning souls may hear their words of thankfulness for their blessings, and, looking cautiously around at the praiser’s circumstance, may whisper, “Where?” their sincerity summons us to see with the eyes of faith and to sing with their heart of praise.

Even when the checkbook balance is small and there is little to nothing in the cupboard. Even when work has evaporated and the heat of the circumstantial is near boiling Even when strength seems gone, health is waning, and the diagnosis demands dismay. Even when a loved one lingers on the edge of eternity and their lot is to patiently nurse the dying.

Today, let’s take our cue from these people whose praise to God—however appropriately prompted by great blessings—is just as praise-ready when the shadows come. They’re this way because their praise has found its deepeset root in the abiding goodness of God’s nature, not merely in the temporal goodness of His providence. So join me in this, would you?

Become fixed in gratitude

Let’s become so fixed in gratitude for the changless fact that God is good that our praise persists even when transient facts tempt us to transient faith. Yes, join me in the settled will to let the abiding truth of one text gain an inescapable grip on our souls:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)

In the pop song, “The Shadow of Your Smile,” a lover sang of his devotion, even in his loved one’s absence, saying. “It will color all my dreams and light the dawn.” Not a bad beginning for a hymn this Thanksgiving morn, for the changless Lover of our souls—seen clearly for who He is—deserves our highest praise and deepest devotion even when shadows come.

Things may change, but He never does;
Turmoil churns, but He is my peace;
Troubles come, but He’s present still.

This morning, rise and sing in the light of this truth about your Father. Even if there’s a shadow on your Thanksgiving Day, rejoice that your life is still secured—within the grander shadow of His wings.

It’s never dark in there.

Copyright 2014 by Jack W. Hayford, Jack Hayford Ministries