Question: “What do you call a turkey on the day after thanksgiving?” Answer: “Lucky.” I guess so!    Turkeys find life to be especially dangerous at Thanksgiving time every year! The website www.vox.com posted on Nov.10 that this year (2021), “An estimated 46 million turkeys are eaten each year in the United States, and nearly 9 in 10 Americans will eat turkey on the holiday.” The article went on to refer to Thanksgiving as “the turkey industry’s Super Bowl.” Another website at www.finder.com  that last year 292 million Americans gathered to enjoy this yearly feast, and that this year there will be an increase of more than 700,000 turkey lovers! The folks at finder.com estimate that for Thanksgiving 2021 Americans will spend nearly a $1  billion dollars for Thanksgiving – that’s $1,000,000 worth of turkey and dressing and gravy – a lot of stuffed turkeys and a lot of stuffed stomachs! All this being true, can we imagine, then, it is difficult for turkey’s to be thankful on thanksgiving?! Maybe, though, as one cartoon suggests, even turkeys can be thankful — for vegetarians!
Let us shift gears from talk of turkeys and the holiday of Thanksgiving to the Bible’s profound teaching about being thankful. The apostle Paul thought often and deeply about the incredibly great things God has done for mankind through His Son Jesus Christ. No words of the many words he penned about thanksgiving are more succinct and powerful than the eight we find strung together in 2 Corinthians 9:15: “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” David Divicq said, “Life is like pizza. Even when it’s bad, it’s good.” The apostle Paul believed something similar about the Christian’s life in Christ. Not because life is always fun and exciting and easy, but because God is always good – all the time – and because “Jesus Christ, is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Paul believed and taught by life and lip that because of Christ and the spiritual status and standing and realities we enjoy through and in Him, life is good enough to be thankful to God, even when outward circumstances are far less than optimal. Consider this string of “thanksgiving” verses – “giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ….Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God….in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (Ephesians 5:20 * Philippians 4:6 * 1 Thessalonians 5:18, respectively). Though often persecuted, in pain, facing crushing pressures, and even under threat of death, Paul always believed things could be a lot worse – worse as in, “I could be in pain, in prison, and facing crushing pressures including the threat of death – and not be a Christian with the hope of heaven in my heart!” Years ago in a PEANUTS cartoon, Charlie Brown in bringing out Snoopy’s dinner on Thanksgiving Day. But it was his usual dog food in his usual dog-food-bowl. Snoopy looked at the dog food and then grumbled, “This isn’t fair, The rest of the world is eating turkey with all the trimmings, and all I get is dog food. Because I’m a dog, all I get is dog food. He stood there for a moment, thinking it over, then said, “I guess it could be worse. I could be a turkey.” Think your situation over, my dear reader. Life can be hard, even for Christians. To always be thankful is not always easy – but, like pizza, even when  things are bad, life in Jesus is always good! If you think about Him, you’ll find reason to thank Him!