Do you know people who have the worst facial expressions? I mean you see them in grocery stores, school functions, birthday parties, and even on Christmas! They have these long-faced expressions that give us the impression that they are either angry, sad, in pain, or just unhappy about something. I do not know what to think when I see these faces and many times I try my best to make them smile or at least look pleasant. One day I did witness a family member with this sad, long face. I had to ask them if they were okay. They responded, with surprise, that they were okay and very thankful to be there with us. Now, I was confused. That was a thankful face? With Thanksgiving a couple of days away, I must tell you all, if you are thankful, then please tell your face that.
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.” Romans 1:8
During this thankful season, I wanted to tap into what true thankfulness can look like. I understand that life does not give us a bed of roses all year, but there is always a reason to show our thankfulness to God. We all have had our good days where everything goes smoothly, and we have had our bad days where the floor has gone out from under us. Yet, we are still given a chance to start again each day when our eyes open on this side of living. Now, it’s our choice to have a “Stank Face” because we have not had all good days, or we can let our thankfulness shine from the inside out. It does not hurt to smile, nor does it take as much energy. And yet I still see so many long faces…
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17
Truthfully, I can say God deserves to have a long face. He created us, he feeds us, clothes us, delivers us, saves us (over and over), prays for us (Yes, God does pray), thinks of us and LOVES us. But, what do we do? We complain, we whine, we hurt eachother, we disrespect ourselves and others, and we push God way in the back burner. We literally ignore Him…the one who is Everything to us. We say every year during this time how thankful we are to be here, yet we have the worst ways of showing it. Our faces are windows for His glory. Would you want to look through a dirty window?
In closing, I want you all to be aware of how you portray being thankful in your life this season. It’s not enough to say it around a heavy-laden dinner table, or because the Pastor says, “Tell your neighbor you are thankful!” No. Thankfulness is the embodiment of truly knowing that your life could always be worse than what it is, and that life is not guaranteed to any of us. If you are walking on your own, then your face should show thanks. If you can eat a meal or five, then your face should show thanks. If you can turn the key in an ignition and drive yourself to a job, then your face should show thanks. If you have loved ones to share a meal with this year, then your face should show thanks. This season we should all try to stop hating and start loving. May Thanksgiving 2017 not only be tummy full, but also smile full too. Happy Thanksgiving and you know you got this!