by Pastor Doc Adkins
But I have all, and abound: I am full… Philippians 4:18
Thanksgiving! What a blessed thought. What is it? What do I think of it? Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving has always been a big deal in my life. Living with my grandparents on that old farm was truly a wonderful time during Thanksgiving. My grandmother and my momma would begin preparing for the big day at the beginning of the week. The wonderful aroma of all kinds of great stuff fill the air, steamed up all the windows and tempted me every time I walked by them.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I was thinking about my blessings and everything that goes along with the holiday. Of course my mind couldn’t help but wander to a little turkey, dressing, and big, big homemade rolls. How full you can feel when you indulge in such a big holiday meal, let alone adding a piece of pumpkin pie on top of it.
When we start dwelling on the Thanksgiving holiday, we sometimes think of all those lists of things we are thankful for and we seem to think of them as separate items, but Thanksgiving is more than that.
It’s seeing how God works everything together until we are “full” of His blessings and of His care even through times when we don’t seem to have everything we need (or want). It’s at those times that we should be thankful too.
I’ve read through that Philippians chapter four many times but when I read through it recently, the word “full” really caught my eye.
Paul is writing to the Philippians and expressing his thankfulness at their care for him and how God had supplied. You really do need to read the entire chapter to get things in perspective but look at what it says in Philippians 4:11,12.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Paul says, “both to be full and to be hungry”.
He goes on to say in verses 18,19,But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:18,19
It’s wonderful the way that God supplies our needs. When I read through that chapter, I notice that Paul seems to be looking at the whole picture. He saw how God had worked through everything for him and how God would supply the needs of those at Philippi.
I don’t think Paul was just making a thankful list but he was really seeing how God had worked through this situation and on into that situation and so on. He surveyed the whole of how God had been working and supplying and Paul was “full.”
I don’t think there is anything wrong with writing out a list of things to be thankful for. I think that’s great and sometimes we all need to do that just to reflect on how the Lord has blessed us but I think sometimes we forget to see the whole of how God supplied.
I know personally I don’t always think of those lean times or the times Paul was talking about when he said, “to suffer need”. Not the things I put right up there at the top of my “thankful” list. I think especially at the Thanksgiving holiday, we put those things in the back of our minds, but that’s how God takes care of us. He does it through everything.
Even in those times where we don’t feel so blessed, the Lord is still there supplying our needs and working through our lives. When I think of it that way, it tends to make me even more grateful and thankful for all of the ways that God supplies.
So…gobble til you wobble. And be thankFULL.