Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
There is so much about it I love.
First, I cherish when family is together. The military moves us all over the place and in the 13 years of marriage, I have only been home for one Thanksgiving. And the only reason we were home for that particular Thanksgiving was because Molly was in a medical trial in NYC.
Secondly, the idea of taking a whole day to remember what we are thankful for makes my heart swell. I love going around the table and just telling the good that has happened that day, that week, or that year.
Thirdly, I love food.
I am not even lying when I say I want to slap people when they say they forgot to eat, aren’t hungry, or don’t have room for dessert. Really???!! There is always room. I guess it’s the Italian girl in me.
The great part about holidays and Thanksgiving in particular, is the fact that you get to eat that meal all over again the next day, and the next day, and if you are really lucky, the next day. It’s like a little miracle every morning that you open the refrigerator door.
Oh right!! I can have pie for breakfast!!!
We call these treasures “leftovers”, but I really think that is a cheap name for it because it implies that what you are about to partake in is second best. In truth, the day after makes the stuffing more flavorful as it soaks in the juices, the pie crust sweeter as the pumpkin or apples soften the dough, and the turkey is simply more succulent.
It’s like a bonus to an already wonderful day.
Perhaps the most well known of miracles was when Jesus fed the five thousand. This miracle is only one of two miracles in the Bible that is recorded in all four Gospels. This should get our attention. The fact that God wanted this story told four times shows us that there is something He wants us to see.
Here we look on as the story unfolds upon a large crowd that is getting hungry. They have been listening to Jesus teach and watching Him perform miracles, but now the physical body begins to beckon. The size of the group was really large enough to almost fill Madison Square Garden. (The Bible says 5,000 but it is just speaking of the men. If you consider women and children, the number was much greater, closer to probably 15,000.)
Not to belittle or minimize the immensity of feeding so many people from just five loaves of bread and two small fishes, I can’t help but stare at the words in John 6: 12.
“When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. “
The “leftovers” are almost more important than the meal because it is a testament to what just took place.
If Christ fed the people off of five loaves and two fishes, that would have been wondrous in itself. But now, we have laying on the ground 12 baskets FULL of food that was not eaten.
Christ desires us to lean upon Him for all things in life.
When we pray before a meal, it should not be done out of repetition or habit, though so often in my own family it is. Still, through the very knowledge in recognizing that we were given yet another meal to sustain our body, keep it healthy, and continue on. Not to mention, most of the time, it’s delicious.
When the Lord supplies our needs, such as strength in a trial that would otherwise seem impossible, or grace in the face of an enemy, it’s not only important that we see what He gave to get us through, but see the over and abundant that He gave.
When I had Clara almost seven years ago, I almost lost my life. But I see that not only did God save it through amazing medical care and blood transfusions, but He gave more. I am still enjoying the leftovers.
I don’t desire the awareness of life’s frailty to leave me. I appreciate the value in life that is given, both born and reborn. Physical pain is more tolerable once I felt the extensive pain of that recovery, which I will never forget.
The Lord even placed a few scars on my body in memory of that day and the weeks to follow.
God’s leftovers are greater than our most astonishing accomplishments.
He not only supplies for the need, but he awes and dazzles us with so much more than we could have imagined.
I suspect that for those that feel they have no leftovers in their life simply are keeping their eyes closed.
Leftover night at our house is one of our favorites of the week because everyone gets to partake in a meal that is their favorite, though everyone is eating something different. We all come together sitting at the same table, but enjoying different kinds of food.
Like our lives, we all sit at the table of God, partaking in His goodness, all displayed in different ways, but all just as good, just as filling, and just as satisfying as the next.