Thanks-Giving: The Joy of being like our Dad

Trucks and trunk loads of food overwhelmed Parker Task Force food bank last Friday. My friend Steve, who runs the food bank, called me up to help out as they ramped up for the Thanksgiving donations soon to be given to hundreds of individuals and families.

Volunteers struggled to keep up with the constant supply of turkeys, cranberry sauce, potatoes, stuffing, and lots of pumpkin pies–I have to confess my mind triggered hunger pains and thoughts of hijacking a pie along with a container of whipped cream to hide in a corner to indulge for just a few minutes, but I resisted.

In the midst of the frenzy of activity there was this intangible evidence of love, joy, and peace. Yes, it was busy and people were scrambling all over the place, but everything felt good and right. Maybe the best way to describe it was a taste of Heaven entered the building. People of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages worked together either donating or sorting food AND something or SOMEONE powerful united hearts together as each one gave of their time and joyfully served others.

The combination of giving and serving had a transforming power, which produced joy, an authentic joy that made you want to stay right where you were, in a sense it was an act of worship. It was as if our Father was exclaiming, “this is what you are made for!” When we give away our time, talents, and treasures we reflect the very heart of our Heavenly Father. The Bible tells us everyone on this planet is created in His image (Gen. 1:27) and at the Heart of our Father is a love that never stops giving. Don’t forget our Father so loved the world that He gave His most precious and costly gift to us-His only Son (Jn. 3:16). When we participate in giving-even the most insignificant gifts-we somehow connect to our Father’s Heart and a joy from heaven is released into our hearts that brings heaven to earth.

Picture for a moment what our consumer world would look like if each one of us spent more time imitating our Father in Heaven. What if we generously gave such love away without expecting anything in return? Friday I witnessed a beautiful painting depicted such an image! It was joyful! It was fun! It was something I hope we all can be apart of often-not just at Thanksgiving or Christmas-but the holidays are a good place to start.

Perhaps this Thanksgiving season each of us can give thanks to your Dad by an act of giving that will result in Heaven’s JOY coming to earth.

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