As I continue to meditate on God's Word,as it relates to Thanks-giving, I can also see a missions emphasis. Wouldn't you know that the missionary in me can see God using our giving of thanks as a way of testimony for Him to the unsaved.
We tell our children the story during this holiday about the Pilgrims and Indians first Thanksgiving. Those "Strangers in a strange land"(what the word "pilgrim" means), came to this New World for that very thing - the freedom to give thanks to God and to worship Him alone.
As they first set foot on shore, I wonder if they knew all that God had planned for them. God would use them to shine His Light on this dark continent.
2Samuel 22:50 "Therefore I will give thanks unto Thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto Thy name."
1Chronicles 16:8 "Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the people."
Even though they were "strangers", the pilgrims gave thanks to the Lord for His provision, protection, and providence in bringing them together with the Indians for their Thanksgiving feast. Like the Bible says, they gave thanks, sang praises, and made known His deeds among the people.
When I get to South Africa, I will be a "stranger". How I long to be used by God to give Him thanks among the unsaved and to tell them of the great things that He has done for us.
Everyday we are "pilgrims and strangers" in this world. As a Christian, these verses remind me that I should be bursting with thanks to God. I should not just keep those things to myself, or only share it with other Christians, but also share those wonderful things with the heathen. How much more effective we could be for Him, when we freely share how truly blessed we are!
Ps 30:12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto Thee for ever.