Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Popcorn, pretzels, jelly beans, and buttered toast. It’s a menu too simple to be anything special, and Charlie Brown’s friends let him know about it. After inviting themselves to his house and volunteering him to make them a meal, they were less than impressed with his efforts. Where was the turkey and the pumpkin pie? Charlie Brown gave his best to his friends, and their response left him fighting frustration and feeling like a failure.
I think we can all relate during the holidays. We plan and prep to offer our best to family and friends. We dream of peace filled meals where gratitude and laughter fill the air. Too often our realities leave us fighting the same feelings of frustration and failure that Charlie Brown faced. It’s enough to make one wish for a fast forward button for life. Skip right past those pesky holidays and all the family drama.
But hiding until the new year begins won’t solve anything. It actually keeps us from what Charlie Brown really offered his friends that Thanksgiving Day. His friends needed him. Charlie Brown stepped up. He gave of his time, resources, and energy to bring his friends together. He gave them love despite the fact they were acting only in their own self-interests. He gave even though the return on his investment in their relationships was complaints.
It took his wise friend, Marcy, to get his friends to see the great gift offered them. It took her perspective for Charlie Brown to see his act of love was not a waste or failure. Charlie Brown was not responsible for his friends’ reactions. His job was to simply love them in word and action.
We are called to the same. Scripture reminds us “so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” God knew it wouldn’t always be possible. There are times no matter what you do those in your life are going to be difficult, criticizing, and demanding. But even when peace feels like an impossible dream, we are called to love. We love because we’ve been given an example of perfect love to follow. Romans 5:8 serves as our model when it tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Another scripture goes as far as calling us God’s enemies. It was while we were His enemies that He sacrificed Jesus on the cross. He did it even though we are demanding and critical of Him. He did it even though we act like spoiled children wanting our way over everything else. He did it even though we were the friends sitting around His perfect holiday table complaining that what He offered was not good enough.
God is patient, kind, humble, forgiving, and seeks our good even when we don’t deserve it, because God is love. We can choose to show this kind of love to others because of His love in us. It can be challenging. But God asks it of us, and He will give us the strength to do it. We may fail at times, but we can find forgiveness and move forward. We may need to step away for a time to realign our attitudes with God’s attitude. That’s fine too.
Just don’t let holiday hurts keep you from giving your loved ones the same gift Charlie Brown gave his friends, the gift of himself, an active gift of love.
Just don’t let frustration and hurts keep you from your loved ones this holiday season. Choose to love friends and family in word and deed. Let God’s love shine through you. Choose to have a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving this year.
Heather Greer grew up as a pastor’s kid in rural southern Illinois. Though completely unexpected, she became a pastor’s wife thirteen years ago, when her husband answered the call to preach. Heather has had the opportunity to minister to all age groups, but teens and women tend to be where God most often leads her. When she isn’t writing or working with various ministries, Heather loves to bake and spend time with her husband, children, and grandson. Of course, she’s always willing to sit down with a cup of cocoa and watch the latest Hallmark channel movie too! You can connect with Heather at www.heathergreer.com.
Her book, Faith’s Journey, is available now!
Katie McGowan left her parents and their faith behind years ago. However, when faced with a devastating betrayal, Katie is ready to go back to Carbondale, Illinois to help her elderly parents despite their tempestuous relationship. Drained by the constant friction, Katie finds emotional support and encouragement in Austin. His practical, simple faith speaks to Katie, and she finds herself yearning for a new connection to God. As their friendship grows, so does the attraction between Katie and Austin.
Before her fledgling faith and thoughts of romance have a chance to take root, Katie’s cheating fiancé returns, remorseful and promising change. Can her tentative faith strengthen their past love? And if her heart breaks again, will Katie’s journey to faith end before it has really begun?
Thank you, Heather, for this fun devotional today. I love the message you got from the timeless Thanksgiving tale! I hope each of you has a lovely holiday, and don’t eat too much like I am sure to do! Heather is offering to giveaway a paperback copy of her book to one lucky commenter! Thanks, Heather! The winner will be drawn on Wednesday, November 28th, 2018, at 1 PM EST.
THE FINE PRINT: CONTEST VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. ONLY US RESIDENTS WILL BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A PAPERBACK COPY. EACH COMMENTER IS ASSIGNED A NUMBER AND THE WINNER IS DRAWN USING RANDOM.ORG. WINNERS WILL HAVE TWO WEEKS FROM THE DATE OF THE DRAWING TO CLAIM THEIR PRIZE.